Southampton’s January transfer plans look to have suffered a blow as Michael Obafemi’s loan move is off after the Irish striker suffered an injury ahead of the Saints’ fixture against Liverpool recently.
According to Daniel Sheldon, the Athletic’s Southampton correspondent, Obafemi sustained a significant muscle injury in training recently, meaning his prospective loan move to the Championship is now off.
The 20-year-old had been heavily linked with a move to the second division recently, with Swansea City amongst the suitors but unfortunately for the youngster, he now looks set for a long spell on the sidelines.
It is a big blow for the former Leyton Orient youngster, as he has managed just one substitute appearance for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side so far this season and was no doubt desperate to get some game time out on loan to prove that he is still capable of making it at the South Coast club.
Obafemi has seen the likes of Nathan Tella and Dan N’Lundulu move ahead of him in the pecking order this season, whilst the loan signing of Theo Walcott has also meant that the opportunities have been hard to come by.
Therefore, a loan move where the Republic of Ireland U21 international could get regular football and perhaps goals under his belt would’ve been ideal to build up his confidence, in the hope that he could return next season and challenge the likes of Danny Ings and Che Adams for a starting spot in the Southampton first-team.
The 20-year-old has 35 first-team appearances for Southampton to his name already, in which he has contributed five goals and four assists but Hasenhuttl has questioned his professionalism in the past, which certainly seems a factor in why he has barely featured so far this season.
Considering this season has been something of a write-off, and his contract is set to expire in June 2022, Obafemi will have to work hard to impress Hasenhuttl next season if he wants to have a long-term future with Southampton.