Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Arsenal Face Fresh Competition In Pursuit Of La Liga Defender: How Can He Fit In Under Arteta?

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Jack O’Brien
A 22 y/o football nerd seeking my way into football writing. I love Irish football and also the Premier League. A huge Arsenal fan! Aside from writing, I like to spend my time fishing and drinking beer.

According to Mundo Deportivo, Arsenal are among clubs interested in Mohammed Salisu. However, they could face fresh competition from Italy, with Fiorentina and Napoli also joining the race to sign the Real Valladolid defender. They are further joined by Atletico Madrid, Manchester United and Newcastle United in the pursuit of Salisu, who reportedly has a €12 million release clause.

Salisu’s rapid rise to prominence

A product of the Valladolid youth academy, Salisu has emerged as one of the rising stars in La Liga this season after being promoted to the senior side last summer. He has been an ever-present figure in the Valladolid backline, notching up 27 league appearances.

The 21-year-old has created a formidable defensive partnership with Kiko Olivas, helping his club somehow stay out of the relegation scrap for the time being. His defensive contributions are backed by statistics as well, with the youngster notably attempting almost two tackles per game with a success rate of 73%.

Salisu has also averaged 1.1 interceptions per game while making 136 clearances – highest in the league this season. Also, the Ghanaian has won 2.5 aerial duels per game, with a success rate of almost 60%.

Arsenal are among clubs interested in Mohammed Salisu - A wise option for Arteta?
VALLADOLID, SPAIN – OCTOBER 06: Alvaro Morata of Club Atletico de Madrid is tackled by Mohammed Salisu of Real Valladolid CF during the Liga match between Real Valladolid CF and Club Atletico de Madrid at Jose Zorrilla on October 06, 2019, in Valladolid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

What can he offer to the table?

Salisu’s defensive statistics suggest that the youngster is known for his commitment and discipline. He can operate in a deep defensive block, clearing out loose balls and denying the opposition any space or time on the ball. His imposing 1.91m frame also hands him a considerable advantage in physical and aerial duels.

Arsenal are among clubs interested in Mohammed Salisu: How can he fit under Arteta?

Arsenal are likely to undergo a major overhaul in the defensive department this summer, and Salisu seems like a good investment. He can provide competition for the likes of David Luiz, William Saliba and Sokratis. But more importantly, the Ghanaian international is equipped with certain qualities that could help him thrive in the Premier League.

From a tactical perspective, Salisu’s physical prowess and discipline mean the Spaniard can utilise his qualities in a deep defensive block. This will be particularly useful when facing a top-class opposition like Manchester City or Liverpool.

Salisu has a reported release clause of €12 million that means the defensive ace is available for a price that seems reasonable for someone who is likely going to be a squad rotation option. He is, therefore, a financially and tactically feasible option for Arsenal as they look to usher in a new era under Arteta next season.

Stat courtesy: Whoscored

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