Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl believes Mohammed Salisu can become like idol Virgil van Dijk but has a lot more work to do

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Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl believes Ghanaian defender Mohammed Salisu can become like idol Virgil van Dijk but has a lot more work to do.

Salisu ahead of Southampton’s visit to Liverpool revealed his admiration for Virgil van Dijk.

“I think Virgil is a very good central defender and, I would say, one of the very best central defenders in the world,” Salisu said.

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

Reacting to the comments, Ralph Hasenhuttl divulged that Mohammed Salisu can become like the Netherlands center back but has a lot more work to do.

“It shows you how much he had to learn that it took so long until he was an option for the starting XI, especially with the ball, he can develop massively,” Hasenhuttl said.

“When you speak about Van Dijk with his long balls and his calmness on the ball, [Salisu] still has a way to go. But there’s no reason why he couldn’t learn it.

“A good thing is that in the centre-back position, the older you get, the better you get because of the more experience you get.

“This is definitely a player that showed this season that he deserved to play from the beginning and I’m very happy with his progress.”

Salisu joined Southampton last year from Real Valladolid. The Ghanaian center-back had a slow start to life at the club but has now become an integral member of the squad.

So far this term, Salisu has made 16 appearances for the Saints in all competitions, scoring a goal.

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