Football

Michael Obafemi To Benefit From Approach Of Hughes' Prospective Replacement

Michael Obafemi To Benefit From Approach Of Hughes' Prospective Replacement

As Southampton afforded Mark Hughes the rare opportunity of becoming the first manager to lose two Premier League jobs in the same calendar year, some trepidation may have surrounded what this decision would mean for one of Hughes' former charges, Ireland's young striker Michael Obafemi.

Given his Southampton debut by Mauricio Pellegrino in January 2018, Obafemi has become a more regular feature around the first-team under Hughes this season. On the eve of the Welshman's dismissal, the 18-year-old was even presented with his first Premier League start against Manchester United.

Having spoken highly of Obafemi in recent weeks, Hughes' departure could potentially hinder the young forward's progress in Southampton's first-team. However, with news that Ralph Hasenhüttl is set to replace Mark Hughes at the Premier League club, the prospective arrival of the Austrian could in fact be a hugely positive development for Michael Obafemi.

Michael Obafemi

Most recently taking charge of the German club RB Leipzig, Hasenhüttl's first season in charge (2016/17) coincided with the club finishing a record-high second-place in the Bundesliga. Admittedly well-short of the winners Bayern Munich, it was a stellar achievement that brought his young Leipzig team into the Champions League.

Speaking to the Bundesliga's official website in the aftermath of that success, Hasenhüttl outlined certain unshakable features of his approach to management that would not be compromised in light of this success.

Questioned whether he would use the club's landmark achievement to acquire some experienced players, Hasenhüttl had no such plans.

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"No, that is definitely not the case," Hasenhüttl exclaimed.

"We are against any claims that it's impossible to survive in the Bundesliga with a squad of under-23 players.

"We have proven this to be false, and have no intentions of bringing in older players for next season or making knee-jerk reactions after defeats."

Having worked with young talents like Timo Werner, Naby Keita and Davie Selke, Hasenhüttl is clearly not averse to offering players who are capable a chance - irrespective of age.

On his fourth job at RB Leipzig, Hasenhüttl has had ample opportunity to approach the game from a variety of angles.

"I've coached four teams to date and have always used a different style of play," Hasenhüttl explained.

"I believe it’s always about adapting your style of play to the quality of player you have at your disposal.

"What are they capable of, what fits best to their mentality, what do they agree on, what is their drive and how to they perform best?

"Those are the questions I have to answer for myself as a coach."

All things considered, the arrival of a manager who has a tendency to plump for younger talents and make the best of the situation he finds himself in should bode well for Michael Obafemi.

See Also: Declan Rice Has Agreed To Talks With Mick McCarthy

Arthur James O'Dea

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