Southampton were knocked out of the Carabao Cup in midweek after losing on penalties to fellow Premier League side Chelsea after drawing 1-1 in 90 minutes at Stamford Bridge thanks to goals from Kai Havertz and Che Adams.
Despite the disappointing overall result, we feel that Southampton had one player on the pitch that was a big positive for Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl – Mohammed Salisu.
The defender, who played the full 90 minutes of the match against Thomas Tuchel’s side, managed to make three interceptions, block two shots, make two clearances, make one tackle, win six duels, complete 20 passes and even have a shot on target, ultimately earning himself an overall match rating of 7.2/10, making him the joint-highest rated outfield for the Saints on the day alongside Adams according to SofaScore.
So far this season, Salisu, who is currently earning a weekly wage of just over £23k-per-week according to Spotrac, has played in all but one of Southampton’s games across all competitions so far this season, as well as playing 90 minutes in all but one of their nine Premier League matches, proving just how important he is to the team.
Southampton signed Salisu back in August 2020 from Spanish club Real Valladolid for a reported fee of £10.8m.
Since then, the 22-year-old has made 26 appearances for the club across all competitions, scoring one goal in the process.
Given how the defender is currently listed as Southampton’s highest-rated player in the Premier League at the moment with an overall season rating of 7/10 based on his league performances so far this season according to WhoScored, it’s safe to say he has been a successful signing for the Saints and an important figure for them this season, which shows he has stepped up to the plate since fellow Saints defender Jack Stephens picked up a serious knee injury earlier in the season.
Moving forward, with Southampton set to take on Watford, who are currently two points above Hasenhuttl’s side in the Premier League table, at Vicarage Road at the weekend, we feel that keeping Salisu in the team would give the Saints the best chance of beating Watford, who managed to score five goals in their previous league outing against Everton.