Michael Obafemi ‘delighted’ with record breaking goal
The Irish striker became Southampton’s youngest ever Premier League goalscorer
Southampton’s Irish-born striker Michael Obafemi with Nathan Redmond after scoring his first Premier League goal. Photograph: Getty Images
He is also now the youngest Irish scorer in Premier League history.
The 18-year-old, who joined Saints from Leyton Orient in 2016, marked his fifth Premier League appearance by tucking away Redmond’s cutback six minutes after coming off the bench to seal a 3-1 victory over Huddersfield.
Obafemi had already missed a very good chance and went on to see another shot saved by Jonas Lossl.
He told the club’s website: “It was surreal and I’m thankful to Redders for giving me the assist. I should have scored two or three more but I’m just delighted to have got my first goal.
“I wanted to get the previous chance out of my head straightaway because I knew myself it should have gone in the back of the net. I knew another one would come and I’m glad I put it away when it did.
“Just before I came on, the manager said to make sure I run and do the basics before anything else and the goal will come. All the lads on the bench were saying just show what I can do and that the rest would fall into place.”
He impressed before being forced off by a hamstring injury and this was his first appearance since.
New manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has now won two of his first three games in charge, and Obafemi praised the impact of the Austrian as well as winger Redmond, who was the stand-out player on the pitch at the John Smith’s Stadium.
“He’s changed the whole system,” the teenager said of Hasenhuttl. “You can see we are a lot more aggressive and direct and playing higher up the pitch. It suits us and it’s getting us results.
“On the pitch, Redders is a close friend of mine and he’s always giving me advice before games and even off the pitch as well, making sure I stay grounded.
“This is a first step in my career. I’ve come a long way since my debut against Tottenham and I’m thankful for everyone who has believed in me and got me back into this position.”
The Southampton manager was pleased with his young Irish striker, although might have had a hat-trick in the 25 minutes he was on the pitch: “His speed gives us a little bit more opportunity,” said Hasenhuttl. “He had two or three more chances.
“I’m happy for him. He’s a cool guy, he has quality and I think after his injury coming back with the goal is perfect for him.”
Southampton are now three points clear of the relegation zone and five points above Huddersfield, for whom this was a fifth consecutive defeat.