Michael Obafemi signs new Southampton contract
By Matthew Treadwell
Last Updated: 20/02/19 6:39pm
Southampton striker Michael Obafemi has signed a new three-and-a-half year contract with the club.
Obafemi made his senior debut as a 17-year-old at home to Tottenham in January 2018, becoming the second-youngest player to feature for the club in the Premier League in the process.
The 18-year-old has established himself as an important part of the first-team squad under new manager Ralph Hasenhuttl this season and scored his first senior goal in the 3-1 win at Huddersfield on December 18.
Former Leyton Orient youth player Obafemi has played seven times for the Saints during the current campaign and made his senior debut for Republic of Ireland in November's goalless draw with Denmark in the Nations League.
"It's a good day. I'm happy that it's done and now I'm looking to move forward," said Obafemi.
"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."
Hasenhuttl was also pleased that a young player who has broken into the first-team squad has decided to stay at St Mary's in order to continue his development.
"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," he said.
"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.
"This is a big day for Michael, but I think what is most important now is that he realises this is the start for him, and that he must use this as a base to make the next steps in his development.
"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."