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Dublin: 11 °C Tuesday 7 July, 2020

Obafemi has 'a long way to go' and is 'lacking professionalism' according to his Southampton boss

Saints manager Ralph Hasenhuttl responds to Ireland international’s claims that he should be a regular starter in the Premier League.

Michael Obafemi (left) in action for Southampton.
Michael Obafemi (left) in action for Southampton.
Image: EMPICS Sport

SOUTHAMPTON MANAGER RALPH Hasenhuttl says striker Michael Obafemi has a ‘long way to go’ to be considered a regular in his starting XI after accusing the Republic of Ireland international of ‘lacking in professionalism’.

Obafemi claimed he showed enough with his performance in his first Premier League start of the season against Arsenal to warrant further backing by his club boss.

Hasenhuttl, however, was pretty damning in his assessment of a talented prospect who has been hampered by injuries since scoring his first goal last December.

The 19-year-old has made seven appearances so far this term, with one goal to his name after finding the net away to Fulham in the Carabao Cup.

And Hasenhuttl feels he must change his ways off the pitch to ensure he fulfills his talent.

“When you reduce Michael only to his speed then I don’t think you are doing right by him. He has a lot more than speed.

“The last time I saw him he was saving balls, playing with others coming in the red zone, turning and keeping the ball up front.

“It’s something of his game that developed and is based on his fitness and willingness to work hard for the team. He still has a lack of professionalism in his whole life.

“This is a young guy who must learn quickly. If he does this and gets more physical, fit and can make this workload for a longer time, then he has a big future.”

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