Ghana's No. 1

I told Mohammed Salisu he would make it to the top - Fran Castano

Published on: 01 June 2020

Director of African Talent Football Academy (ATFA), Fran Castano has said he was always confident his player, Mohammed Salisu will make it to the top. 

Castano's academy which is based in Nsawam discovered the now highly-rated defender.

The ex-Spanish footballer recalls he fell in love with the player the first time he watched him and was convinced Salisu would one day become one of the world's best defenders.

"I told him he would make it [to the top]," says Castano, who previously held many roles in youth coaching and analytics for the Niger and Mauritania national teams, Real Jaen, Leganes and Hearts of Oak, Ghana's biggest club, before setting up the ATFA.

"You always have doubt because it's not only about talent. To come and live in Europe was a big change for him, but I knew he would make it [on the talent side] because I saw his level compared with others in Spain at the same age and the way he can develop.

You could see from the beginning he was different. The body, the technique, the winning mentality, the confidence and how he developed faster than anybody. If you increased the challenge, he increased his level."

At age 21, the Real Valladolid defender is one of the hottest commodities in the football market. He has been targeted by several clubs including Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United and Atletico Madrid.

Reports in Spain suggest French side Rennes are very close to completing a deal in the region of his €12million release clause

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