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Will Salisu Play Any Part At Chelsea
Wednesday, 14th Oct 2020 09:07

Every Saints fan knows the name Mohammed Salisu, but fee would recognise him in the street as he has not had an official signing picture nor conducted much press etc, but the question is could he feature at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Back in 1979 there were badges saying "Ive seen Charlie George play" as after his signing from Derby County arrived injured, then played a couple of games before being injured again.

That is not quite the case with Mohammed Salisu, but his arrival during the close season followed by a 14 day quarantine period meant that he was unable to start pre season training until early September.

Those who know anything about coaching and sports science will tell you that the general wisdom on returning to fitness after a close season break is that after six weeks off as Salisu had had, it takes six weeks of intense training to get you back to full fitness.

Ralph Hasenhuttl confirmed this in an interview a month or so ago when he said that he expected Salisu to be ready for selection after the October International break.

That is due to end this weekend and so will the player be included in the squad for the trip to Chelsea ?

My feeling is he might well travel with the squad for a bit of team bonding etc, but he will be highly unlikely to be even on the bench.

There are two reasons for that, firstly he has had no match action at all to my knowledge and it would be a baptism of fire to throw him into a game against one of the top clubs in the country without getting a fell for 90 minutes with his last game being played 3 months ago for previous side Valladolid in Spain.

Included in that is the players relative inexperience, he only had a season as first choice at Valladolid in La Liga and still only 21 he will need to be blooded carefully.

Secondly on the back of two clean sheets, Saints are in no urgency to make a change, if they included Salisu on the bench then it might have to be at the expense of Jack Stephens and that would be a little unfair.

So at best Salisu might get a place on the bench , but I do not expect him to get on the field unless there are two of our three central defenders get injured.

There are some ranting and raving on social media about the fact that Salisu has not featured so far, but the truth is the International break has disrupted the plans slightly, to have played him before it against West Brom might have been a little too soon and so the full six weeks has been adhered too.

Now it is a case of getting him some game time and that might be a little tricky, Chelsea away is always a toughie as I have mentioned and the visit of Everton to St Mary's on current form is just as tricky, so my bet is although we will see him on the bench, perhaps a run out for the last 20 minutes against Everton if the situation allows it, it could be thr trip to Villa before he gets any meaningful action.

Having said all this though, Salisu seems to have a strong character, he has had to had if you see the journey he has taken to get from his roots in Ghana to the Premier League, some players are mentally tough enough to be thrown in at the deep end at a young age, whilst others take a little longer, from reading about our new central defender he might just be ready sooner than later.

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underweststand added 09:44 - Oct 14
After two wins, two clean sheets surely Ralph dare not change the CB duo....or will he ?
".....If it ain't broke - don't fix it ".
On paper Chelsea have a fearsome attacking line-up with Werner and company , and if we
end up with another Tottenham type debacle, then he will surely make changes, BUT if we come out of the game with some credit.or better still ...some points then Salisu will need to wait ...a little longer to get a regular CB spot.

WestSussexSaint added 12:47 - Oct 14
Lots of ifs and buts here.

How has Salisu faired in the first team training he has taken part in. Has Ralph seen something much better than what we have.

Will Bednarek/Vestergard return from international duty with any injuries that force a change.

Vestergard has faired well in the last two games but the West Brom and Burnley players and tactics played to his strengths. Chelsea have a different attack which Ralph may think needs a different partner for Bednarek.

I’m inclined to agree with the main thrust of the article that Salisu is unlikely to start against Chelsea but it is not certain the Vestergard will either.

Centurion added 17:36 - Oct 14
Patience everyone.
Wait until the time is right, which is not et.

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Letters from Wiltshire #09 by wessex_exile
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Lots of discussion this week on football forums, including here, on two subjects – the petition to lobby parliament to allow limited numbers of supporters back into football grounds, and of course the return of that old chestnut from Man City Chief Executive Ferran Soriano, introducing Premier League ‘B’ teams into the EFL. First off, I don’t mind admitting I’ve signed the petition ( https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/552036 ), as have 192,779 others at the time of writing, though I don’t actually think it’ll make any difference. I can completely understand why some do not think this is a good idea, as second-wave spikes of coronavirus infection pop up all over the country (mainly because – let’s face it – some people are dicks and can’t be trusted to sit the right way on a toilet). But to me, the two go hand in hand (not dicks and toilets) – whilst football clubs throughout the country struggle financially without spectators, we are always going to be under threat of this sort of ‘B’ team nonsense as a condition of financial support from the Premier League fat cats. They got their way in 2016 with the EFL trophy, who’s to say they won’t again when the financial squeeze really starts to tighten its grip without paying customers through the turnstiles? Robbie has featured prominently in this debate in recent weeks, and looks like he will again on Sky tomorrow if this tweet from Sophy Ridge is anything to go by -
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