History-maker Obafemi "speechless"

By SFC Media time Sat 22 Dec Huddersfield v Saints
Photo by Matt Watson | Michael Obafemi

As of around 4.30pm on Saturday 22 December, Southampton Football Club have a new youngest ever Premier League goalscorer.

At 18 years and 169 days, Michael Obafemi slipped underneath Dexter Blackstock to score a goal of both historical and great contemporary significance.

The teenager slotted calmly home from Nathan Redmond’s cutback to make it 3-1 on the day and all but secure a second consecutive Premier League win for Saints against Huddersfield, a moment that left him speechless.

“It was surreal and I’m thankful to Redders for giving me the assist,” he said. “I should have scored two or three more today but I’m just delighted to have got my first goal.

"I’m just speechless, I’m happy that I could do it for such a great club and I’m thankful to everyone that has supported me since the beginning.”

An earlier opportunity had come and gone for Obafemi – who also made his senior professional debut for Ireland in November – but the striker kept his nerve to ensure he seized his opportunity and side-foot past Jonas Lössl in the Terriers goal on 71 minutes.

“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.”

For Michael, the chance was the product of a support system at the club that has nurtured him through a senior debut against Tottenham last season to finding form in the U23s and now making a breakthrough in earnest under new boss Ralph Hasenhüttl.

“He’s changed the whole system. 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. All the other lads have helped me so much and I’m thankful to everyone.

“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.

“In the stands, the fans travelled all the way up here and saluting them at the end of the game was the least we could do. They backed us throughout the game.”

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