Among LaLiga’s most exciting defensive rising stars is Real Valladolid centre-back Mohammed Salisu, whose solid and composed displays in his debut season suggest a long and highly successful career is ahead of him.
Valladolid’s 20-year-old Ghanaian centre-back has been one of the most impressive defenders at any La Liga Santander club in 2019-20, getting the better of personal duels with forwards as experienced and talented as Atletico de Madrid’s Alvaro Morata, Real Sociedad’s Willian Jose and Real Betis’ Borja Iglesias.
Having only made his La Liga Santander debut last August, Salisu has started 26 of Valladolid’s first 27 games, as part of a solid defence which has been key to Sergio Fernandez’s team spending most of the campaign well clear of the drop zone.
Born in Accra in 1999, Salisu was signed by Valladolid in autumn 2017, having been scouted from the ‘African Talent Football Academy’ in his home country. By the following January, the 17-year-old had broken into Valladolid’s B team in the third tier, impressing enough to become a regular for the remainder of the campaign.