Former Black Stars defender John Paintsil has urged Ghana rebel Mohammed Salisu to make his mind up and play for the senior men's national team.

The Southampton defender has been on a self imposed exile from the national team as he says he is not yet ready to play for the country of his birth.

Salisu Mohammed has been in fine form since joining the South Coast club from Spanish side Real Valladolid two seasons ago.

He has rejected several call ups to play for Ghana but Paintsil who played for Ghana has advised the defender to make his mind up as playing for the national team is every players dream.

The towering defender has been imperious for the saints this season in the English Premier League having featured in 13 games and scoring once

“Playing for your country is the best thing that will ever happen to any player because it’s something that will put you on the map for people to see, and your respect will rise high and a lot of clubs will even start chasing you when they see you play at the World Cup and Africa Cup,” Paintsil, who represented Ghana at the 2006 and 2010 World Cups, told

“What I am thinking is that he’s probably looking at some of the players like Kevin-Prince Boateng who came to play for Ghana and at the end the boy was struggling with the media, being dropped from the World Cup, fighting, all these things – players look at all these before joining the national team.

“So I think he maybe needs time, and as an ex-player, I’ll advise that playing for Ghana will help him a lot and boost him higher for a lot of clubs to see him. Sometimes you don’t look at what is happening to somebody and make a decision on that.

“For me, Ghana Black Stars is the best place for every player in the world. So I’ll advise that whatever is keeping him away should be respected but I would say he should speed up and play for his country,” Paintsil added.