Ireland’s Michael Obafemi signs new three-year deal with Southampton
Ireland striker scored his first goal for the club in win over Huddersfield in December
Michael Obafemi, pictured with manager Ralph Hasenhuttl, has signed a new three-and-a-half year contract with Southampton. Photo: Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images
Teenage striker Michael Obafemi has signed a new three-and-a-half-year contract at Southampton.
The 18-year-old became the second youngest player to feature for the club in the Premier League when he made his debut as a 17-year-old against Tottenham last January, while he scored his first goal in December’s 3-1 win at Huddersfield.
Manager Ralph Hasenhuttl said: “Young players like Michael represent a big part of the future of Southampton, so this is an important day for him and also for the club.
“Already, he has shown to me he can have a big impact in our games and, with the right guidance and also with the right approach from him, I think this influence will increase.
“There is still a great amount of potential for Michael to fulfil and a lot for him to achieve, and this is the best place for him to do it, so he must focus on working as hard and professionally as possible to make sure he becomes the player I believe he can be.”
Obafemi moved to St Mary’s from Leyton Orient in 2016 and has been a prolific goalscorer for both Saints’ under-18 and under-23 teams.
He has not featured since the victory over Huddersfield because of a hamstring injury but is expected to return to action soon.
Obafemi, who also made his senior debut for the Republic of Ireland this season, said: “It’s a good day. I’m happy that it’s done and now I’m looking to move forward.
“I’ll always be thankful to the club for sticking by me, and I just want to show everyone what I’ve got. I’m determined to show the fans and everyone at the club why I’ve been given a three-and-a-half-year deal.”