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Ings A Major Doubt For Leicester But There Is A Surprise Return To The Saints Squad
Wednesday, 28th Apr 2021 08:41

Danny Ings looks set to miss the game with Leicester City after limping out of the game at Tottenham Hotspur last week, but Ralph Hasenhuttl has had a boost to his squad with one of the long term injured returning to training.

Missing Ings will be a big blow for Ralph Hasenhuttl, but his ranks have been bolstered by the news that Michael Obafemi has returned to full contact training after being side lined with a muscle injury that eventually needed surgery.

It was expected that he would not return until next season, but he has healed quicker than expected and is now back in the squad ahead of the game against Leicester City on Friday .

Obafemi has at times looked like he would make a real breakthrough at St Mary's but despite being blessed with searing pace he has struggled to find consistency.

Last season he played 25 times for Saints in all competitions including a stunning goal at Chelsea on Boxing Day, but he would score just 4 goals with the last being perhaps the most vital coming in an injury time equaliser at Old Trafford.

This season he has played just 19 minutes of football, the first 6 as a sub in the 2-0 defeat to Brentford in the League Cup and then a slightly longer 13 minutes in the same role in the 1-0 win at Burnley.

Since then he has been mainly out of the squad and although he made some appearances on the bench as an unused sub , before his injury it was rumoured that Saints might cash in on his talents.

That was understandable, rumours out of Staplewood suggested that Obafemi's failure to truly capitalise on his undoubted talent were more about his activities off the field .

Now he is back in the squad and perhaps in last chance saloon with Ralph Hasenhuttl, turning 21 in July he is at that age where he should really be forcing his way into the first team, but he hasn't kicked on from his initial promise of 2 1/2 years ago when he burst into the first team.

There is some excuse as he has suffered several injuries, but the feeling seems to be that it is more about attitude than injury and hopefully this latest bout might just have given him time to reflect.

Certainly there are other's who have jumped into his place, namely Nathan Tella who does look the part when he has played and Dan N'Lundulu who has shown plenty of enthusiasm but as of yet not truly impressed.

So could Michal Obafemi finally reach his potential at St Mary's or will we cash in on him now whilst he still has the potential that others might be willing to pay for.

I truly hope that the last few games of this season see Obafemi start to hit a run of form and convince Ralph he is still a vital part of the squad, unlike some from the academy when they have played, he has shown he can play at this level and indeed score goals.

Photo: Action Images

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geezershoong1 added 09:45 - Apr 28
Phew! We are saved!

sandywelsh added 09:48 - Apr 28
Out of the 3 Nathan Tella looks to be the best bet. Michal Obafemi just runs about like a headless chicken and Dan N'Lundulu is just a big lump with no positional sense.

Farlow added 11:02 - Apr 28
Its time to give Jankievitz a go to give the midfield some bite.N,lundulu will learn positional nous with experience.

SaintNick added 11:27 - Apr 28
I agree Tella appears the best bet, but I think Obafemi also has something about him, although he is a reactive player rather than pro active, the jury is out on N'Lundulu, he is a bit like Obafemi in that he chases the ball rather than trying to get into good positions and vreate space for himself and others

highfield49 added 12:34 - Apr 28
I may be wrong but my impression is that Obafemi has some pace but doesn't have the stamina needed at this level. N'Lundulu has in the main been brought on to play a role that doesn't match his strengths but he can still make the grade. Tella could develop into a very good player and certainly negates any thoughts that we might need to sign Walcott or Minamino for next season. That said I'd like to see Minamino play against Leicester just to see if he can produce his early form on the left side and try and get us at least a point.

SonicBoom added 13:55 - Apr 28
I have to say that I'm not quite convinced by Tella yet. Everyone is saying nice things about him but I can't remember one meaningful contribution yet to justify it.

felly1 added 15:02 - Apr 28
These guys need to be given more game time to allow for more accurate assessments of their abilities. Until we get to the magical 40 point mark, which quite possibly we won't achieve this season. How can Ralph experiment and tell the likes of Jankowitz and N'lundulu they will get a run in the team. Fingers crossed we get our act together get a win or two quickly and then hopefully they'll get their chance.

KriSaint added 21:26 - Apr 28
Wellcome back, Mikey :)

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