Michael Obafemi appears to have shrugged off any possible injury concerns and has been training with the first-team squad ahead of this weekend’s trip to Sheffield United.
The 19-year-old limped off in Southampton’s 1-0 win at Fulham and was forced to sit out of the 1-1 draw against Manchester United just days after.
Ralph Hasenhuttl allayed concerns over Obafemi’s condition, indicating that the knock he sustained at Fulham was only cramp. He was also included in the Republic of Ireland’s Under-21 squad for this month’s international fixtures.
However, he was not named on the bench in either of the national team’s fixtures, again raising questions about his condition.
Thankfully for Southampton, though, it seems he is now fully fit, with the club’s recent training gallery depicting him in action alongside his teammates.
Read Southampton’s verdict
Obafemi’s absence from both the senior and Under-21 Ireland squads seemed a little peculiar, given the lack of explanation behind it.
Nevertheless, it’s good that he’s preserved his condition and hasn’t played through the pain. Hasenhuttl has often alluded to how he needs to be managed carefully, and it’s good to see him make a quick recovery from what was initially feared to have been a hamstring problem.
Obafemi has all the makings of a good player, and continuous experience in the first team under a manager like Hasenhuttl will only benefit him.
With the 19-year-old now seemingly back in contention, the boss has four senior forwards to call upon: Danny Ings, Che Adams, Shane Long and Obafemi.
Three forwards tend to be involved in Hasenhuttl’s matchday squads, and the common theme this season has seen Long miss out altogether. With his younger compatriot now available, this could be the case again at Sheffield United at the weekend.