Will Olufela Olomola Be The Next Saints Youngster To Break Through
Wednesday, 5th Oct 2016 08:40
With many Saints fans believing that Saints should have bought a striker in the transfer window, did the club refrain from paying out big money in the knowledge that had what they needed already at Staplewood.
There are many Saints supporters who have taken to social media and fans message boards to moan about the fact that Saints failed to sign a striker in the transfer window.
There are those that feel that the club has in fact got plenty of goalscorers at the club already and will point to Charlie Austin, Jay Rodriguez and Shane Long as three strikers who have had Premier League scoring seasons totalling around 43 goals.
But it could be that the club did not go out an buy in a striker at big money knowing that coming through the ranks was a player with the potential to be the next big star from the famed Southampton Academy.
That player is Olufela Olomola and last night in the academy sides 2-1 at Colchester United in the Checkatrade Trophy he perhaps gave many the first glimpse of why he could be about to burst on the scene.
He has been on the verge of a first team call up in the past month or so, indeed last season he made the bench against Sunderland back in March, but surprisingly he did not even make the bench for the EFL Cup game against Crystal Palace but at Happoel Be'er Sheva and again at Leicester City in the last week he has been selected on the bench.
He did not get on to the field in either of those games, but there was a feeling inside the club that this was the first step towards blooding him into the first team squad.
He did though play in the Academy teams two Checkatrade Trophy games so far, firstly at Charlton Athletic and then last night at Colchester United where he gave the first glimpse of his potential at a level up from the Academy League by scoring the winner.
Olomola who goes by the name of Fela to his friends scored a 51st minute goal is fast and he is strong and has an eye for goal, in short he seems to be a good contrast to the three aforementioned strikers, in some respects he is every much the type of player that at the moment Claude Puel is trying to turn Nathan Redmond into.
There are some who say that Redmond, as good as he is as a wideman, will perhaps never become an out and out striker, but it could be that using the former Norwich man as a striker is more of a stop gap than a long term option, of course Clause Puel could not say that, but as he begins to see what he has to hand at St Mary's, it might be the case.
Of course Olomola still has a long way to go to show that he is worth the hype that is rising from a whisper at a fast rate.
Originally Olomola was at Arsenal, but sensing that there was a glut of strikers at youth team level at the Emirates, indeed he had been played at full back at times, he opted to turn down the offer of a contract and instead chose to join Saints back in July 2014.
Now having only turned 19 at the beginning of September he could be about to burst on the scene and his debut for the first team could be only a matter of weeks away.
Saints academy boss Martin Hunter certainly rates the player and his job now is to try and keep his feet on the ground and keep progressing him forward towards that first team spot.
“He’s doing very well, but he needs to keep his feet on the floor and understand that there’s a long way to go in terms of getting into the first team.
“But performances like tonight will help him do that.”
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