Southampton defender Mohammed Salisu may not avail himself for Ghana when the 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifiers kickstart in June after indicating he is still not ready for international football at the senior level.
In a recent interview, the centre-back indicated his focus is on establishing himself well at his new club before accepting Black Stars duties.
Salisu joined the Saints in the Premier League from Spanish side Real Valladolid in the summer.
But the youngster, slowed down by injuries, had to go through an adaptation period of six months before winning his debut in February. He has since managed 10 appearances in all competitions for Southampton – 7 in the Premier League and 3 FA Cup games.
Since November 2019, Salisu has evaded call-ups to the Ghana national team. Former coach Kwasi Appiah initially invited the 22-year-old at the beginning of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers but he rejected the call-up citing a hip injury.
New boss CK Akonnor followed up with an attempt to meet Salisu during a visit to Spain but the player failed to show up despite the intervention of Thomas Partey who was then at Atletico Madrid.
Salisu’s commitment to representing Ghana came into question at the time. The player has indicated his willingness to don the Black Stars shirt but only when the time is right.
“I’ll be so proud to play to my country, to play with Ghana, the national team.
“But I think this is not the right moment to play in the national team.
“I think I need to focus on the club side because I am young, I think I need to focus on the club first and then after, when everything is fine, I can go and play for Ghana,” a timid Salisu told Mozzart Sport.