BOSS Ralph Hasenhuttl admitted “some bigger issues” had kept Mohammed Salisu from making his Saints debut but insisted: “We knew it wasn’t a short-term project.”

The centre-half, signed from Valladolid for £10.9million in the summer, is yet to appear for the St Mary’s side this season.

Hasenhuttl insisted Ghanaian Salisu could be available for selection in a week’s time and insisted “he will help us in the future”.

Speaking about the central defender’s absence from his squad, Hasenhuttl said: “Some bigger issues we had with him. These issues will last a little bit longer.

“It’s an older thing and for this we will have to take care of him. But he is coming back.

“It maybe takes one more week and then he is able to play. We gave him all the time he needed to solve these issues.

“We knew it wasn’t a short-term project, it was a long-term project. For sure, he will help us in the future.”

Salisu made 32 appearances in all competitions for La Liga outfit Valladolid last season.