Southampton Manager Claims Ireland International Is 'Lacking Professionalism'

Southampton Manager Claims Ireland International Is 'Lacking Professionalism'

Southampton manager Ralph Hassenhuttl says that Ireland international Michael Obafemi is lacking the level of professionalism required if he is to fulfil his potential as a footballer.

The 19-year-old started his first Premier League game of the season last weekend against Arsenal. He again started on Saturday against Watford, playing nearly an hour before being replaced by Shane Long.

"When you reduce Michael only to his speed then I don’t think you are doing right by him," Hassenhuttl told the Southern Daily Echo.

"He has a lot more than speed.

"The last time I saw him he was saving balls, playing with others coming in the red zone, turning and keeping the ball up front.

"It’s something of his game that developed and is based on his fitness and willingness to work hard for the team.


"He still has a lack of professionalism in his whole life.

"This is a young guy who must learn quickly. If he does this and gets more physical, fit and can make this workload for a longer time, then he has a big future.

"There is still a long way to go for him."

This is not the first time that the Austrian manager has questioned Obafemi's professionalism. Asked to clarify exactly what he meant, Hassenhuttl said: "He knows it, I know it and you don’t have to know it".

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