There are few Irish players in better form than Michael Obafemi at the moment.
While the striker initially struggled after his move to Swansea City during the summer, he has certainly found his feet at his new team over the last couple of months.
Heading into this afternoon's game against Reading, he had scored eight goals in his last 14 outings for the club, while he has also started each of their Championship fixtures since the start of February. That is a very impressive run from a player who has struggled with his fitness at times.
Unsurprisingly, he would be back among the goals once again today.
Michael Obafemi produces another brilliant Swansea performance
Obafemi played a key role in Swansea's 4-4 draw away from home, winning a penalty for his side before scoring a goal of his own.
He showed impressive sharpness in winning that spot kick, reacting quickest to the ball breaking inside the box before he was taken down from behind.
A relief for Peterborough and Barnsley as Swansea extend their lead at Reading � pic.twitter.com/y0WjPoMMNG
— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) April 18, 2022
It was his goal that really caught the eye.
The strike was a brilliant example of centre forward the play, drawing the centre back out of position before dummying the ball to his teammate, spinning in behind and unleashing a very impressive finish.
The movement and the finish! That is brilliant centre forward play from Michael Obafemi 🔥pic.twitter.com/ZYQfP3LIez
— Balls.ie (@ballsdotie) April 18, 2022
The way he created the space for this opportunity by using the dummy was incredibly impressive and something that should be of huge encouragement to both Swansea and Ireland supporters.
While this goal put Swansea 4-1 up at the time, they would unfortunately be pegged back to draw 4-4. This result dented the visitor's slim chances of snatching a place in the play-offs, although they still look like long shots to finish in the top six as things stand.
As for Obafemi, he will surely receive a first Ireland call-up under Stephen Kenny for the UEFA Nations League fixtures in June. He was left out for the March friendlies, with the Ireland boss saying he was concentrating on building his fitness but was still very much committed to the Boys in Green:
There was speculation about whether he would want to be part of Ireland in the future – the speculation regarding Nigeria – but he was on the phone the other night to me and he said: ‘Stephen, I really want to play for Ireland. It’s important to me but I just have to get myself right. It’s the first time I’ve had a run of games.’
That’s the way he feels...
his reasons are sincere. I suppose you have to look at it from both sides, or from every side, and would he have a better chance of playing in June if he was with us in March? Yes, he would. But, you know, that’s where we are with that. Does it rule him out? No it doesn’t.
His goal this afternoon was certainly an example of what he can offer, with his clinical nature around the box something not many others within the squad possess. Considering the way the side have struggled for goals at times, Ireland cannot afford to ignore a player of his qualities.
Considering the form he has shown since the turn of the year, Michael Obafemi will simply have to be a part of Kenny's plans moving forward.