After putting pen to paper on a new three-and-a-half-year contract at Southampton, Michael Obafemi has expressed his desire to work his way back into the starting line-up. 

The Republic of Ireland international committed his future to the club recently after breaking into the first-team squad this season. 

Ralph Hasenhuttl has often utilised the striker ahead of senior options such as Shane Long and Charlie Austin, with Obafemi’s importance to the Austrian’s plans now highlighted by the renewal of his deal. 

The 18-year-old has not played since December 22, when he found the net against Huddersfield Town. He scored the Saints’ third goal in their 3-1 win, opening his account in senior football. 

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Since then, though, Obafemi has been left frustrated by hamstring problems that have kept him out for the whole of 2019 so far. 

He is back in full first-team training now and, ahead of Southampton’s trip to Arsenal on Sunday, has spoken of his determination to start more games under Hasenhuttl. 

As quoted by the Saints’ official club website, Obafemi said: 

There’s plenty of belief going around the dressing room. One of my short-term aims is to get more minutes and get back into the starting line-up. I want to give it everything I’ve got.

Obviously, the aim is for us to stay in the Premier League, and continue to be a Premier League club and I hope to score as many goals as I can in that time.

Should Obafemi start against Arsenal?