African All Stars

Salisu: Ghanaian defender reveals admiration for Liverpool star Van Dijk

19:28 WAT 25/11/2021
Mohammed Salisu Southampton 2021-22
The 22-year-old opens up on idolising the 2019 Champions League winner who once played for The Saints

Ghanaian defender Mohammed Salisu has revealed he is a fan of Liverpool ace Virgil van Dijk, adding he wants to be like the Dutchman.

Owing to his fine form for Southampton this season, Salisu has earned comparisons with Van Dijk who featured for the same club before making a big move to Liverpool in 2018.

The Liverpool captain has been hailed as arguably the best central defender in the world, particularly after helping Liverpool win the Champions League in 2019 and leading the Netherlands to the final of the Uefa Nations League the same year.

"I think Virgil is a very good central defender and, I would say, is one of the very best central defenders in the world,” Salisu said, as reported by Daily Echo, ahead of Southampton's meeting with Liverpool in league action on Saturday.

"One day, I want to be like him, especially with how he plays and the confidence he has and how he leads the team."

Salisu has made 12 Premier League outings for Southampton so far this season, starting in all but one of the matches.

In September, the 22-year-old scored his first goal for The Saints in a League Cup clash with Sheffield United.

“So far the season is going on well and I hope everything continues like this,” the Ghanaian said in a previous publication.

“I think it’s very important as a young central defender to get more minutes in the Premier League. I am very happy.

“I think I have learned a lot and I have been studying what the manager wants and I have always been watching the games and looking at what he wants. That made it easier for me when I started playing. He has been a good manager. Since I came here, he has been good to me.

“I remember before I came here, we spoke. He told me he needed me in the team and that I was a long project, how I was a young central defender, I needed to do what I was doing and I would get more minutes to play.”  

Salisu joined Southampton from Spanish side Real Valladolid last summer but saw his first season weighed down by fitness challenges.