Ireland striker Michael Obafemi is reportedly closing in on his £6 million (about €7.1 million) transfer from Southampton to Blackburn Rovers. Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhüttl expressed his admiration for the player, praising his performance on the turf, even if he was not entirely content with his attitude while he has been manager.
As a youth, Obafemi played with four teams before settling down in Southampton in 2016. The young striker has represented Ireland at youth level, even after signing as a senior with The Saints. He made his senior debut with the Boys in Green in 2018, in a friendly against Northern Ireland, then his full debut in a UEFA Nations League match against Denmark just a couple of weeks later. His performances impressed the fans, media, and online soccer betting as well. While the team has been crying out for a striker, it hasn’t quite happened yet for Obafemi in the green of Ireland.
Obafemi is an exciting young player with quick feet and a killer pass. His problem, it seems, lies in his age – and the attitude that comes with it. Like many other young players, Obafemi can also get carried away, falling out of his professional stance.
Critics of the player had, in the past, things to say about his work ethic and consistency. But the same critics also pointed out that he is still at the beginning of his career, and he still has a lot of time to work on his flaws.
His move away from the Saints may help Obafemi kickstart his international career, The Independent writes. He hasn’t been included in any of Stephen Kenny’s teams. His most recent outing in green was in a U-21 game against Luxembourg that was played last November.
Playing with Blackburn Rovers seems like the ideal move in his career, if he gets regular playing time and scores some goals, the fitness and sharpness all strikers need will return and most importantly the confidence boost it will give him. If that all comes to pass, then Kenny will be including him in all his future squads. He need only look how it worked out for Adam Armstrong, who he will replace at Ewood Park.
“I have studied him a lot recently and I see similarities with Adam, he’s mobile, fast, can score, he’s a young boy but we use attributes to help the team play in a certain way,” Blackburn manager Tony Mowbray said about him. “He has the attributes that will help our team but it’s not something we should be saying is a done deal as I’ve not personally spoken to the player so let’s see what the next few days bring. Until this deal goes through, the men in suits will do the numbers and then I’ll find out what the scope is”.
Ireland fans will be crossing their toes, knees and fingers and hope this transfer can go through, instead of him sitting in the reserves with Southampton for another season.