Everton: Mohammed Salisu is a big Holgate upgrade
Everton should accelerate their attempts to sign Mohammed Salisu
Sean Dyche needs defensive reinforcements at Everton.
Last season, the Toffees acquired Conor Coady on a season-long loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers, but the club decided to not activate the buy option, and he has completed a move to Leicester City.
It was also confirmed at the end of the campaign that Yerry Mina would not renew his contract with the club, and he departed as a free agent.
And finally, according to talkSPORT (via Everton News), it looks like Mason Holgate is nearing an exit as newly-promoted Sheffield United eyes a deal for the 26-year-old. The Toffees are keen to trim the wage bill this summer and Holgate is someone tipped to be replaced.
Therefore, as Dyche assesses his options, Mohammed Salisu could be on his way to Goodison Park.
What’s the latest on Mohammed Salisu to Everton?
According to Football Insider, Everton have shortlisted Salisu as one of their top defensive candidates this summer.
However, this outlet revealed that Monaco has submitted an offer for the 24-year-old to throw Everton’s plan into doubt.
Salisu is out of contract in 2024 and Southampton will most likely want to sell him this window to avoid losing him on a free next year.
Should Everton sign Mohammed Salisu?
The centre-back joined Southampton in 2020 and upon his arrival, then-manager Ralph Hasenhuttl praised his potential, saying:
“Mohammed is a player who fits our profile well. He is young and has a great amount of potential, but he is also someone who has the qualities to come in and help the team as soon as he is up to speed with our way of playing.
“I like what I have seen of him so far in his games with Valladolid. He is strong defensively, he is calm with the ball – something that is important in our team – and he has good speed too.”
The Ghanian has gone on to make 80 appearances in all competitions for the Saints and has established himself as a reliable player who deserves to continue playing top-flight football.
Last season, Salisu made 22 Premier League appearances, and he recorded the second-highest average rating (6.78) and the most tackles per game (2.3) in the Southampton squad. He also didn’t make any errors leading to a goal or commit any penalties.
In a highly challenging season for Southampton, he was a pillar of defensive solidity and if he had avoided injury, his team may have had a better chance of survival.
From an Everton perspective, a player of this quality would be a huge upgrade on Holgate, who Salisu outranks in all the decisive metrics – this includes tackles per 90 (2.33 vs 1.95), interceptions per 90, blocks per 90 (2.55 vs 1.24), clearances per 90 (5.57 vs 4.97), and aerials won per 90 (2.51 vs 1.6).
Furthermore, the £25k-per-week titan also appears more comfortable on the ball, averaging better pass completion per 90 (73.51% vs 65.9%), and progressive passes per 90 (3.74 vs 2.49).
Described as “immense” during Ghana’s 2022 World Cup campaign by journalist Ben Jacobs, Everton should accelerate their attempts to sign Salisu and sell Holgate.