Ireland born Nigerian teenager, Michael ‘Durotimi’ Obafemi came off the bench to become the first player born after the year 2000 to feature in a Premier League fixture for Southampton.
It was a “special feeling” for the 17-year-old – Saints’ second youngest top-flight debutant behind Luke Shaw – who may have even netted the winner with a greater slice of luck after agonizingly volleying wide from Dušan Tadić’s cross.
That moment did little to tarnish what was “a dream come true” for Obafemi, who was quick to thank the Saints staff for his landmark appearance in Sunday’s 1-1 draw.
“I came in yesterday thinking that I would be playing for the U18s. The manager stopped me and said that I would be training instead and would maybe be in the first-team squad; it was confirmed later on in the afternoon!”
For the Irish-Nigerian, Obafemi, this important step marks just the beginning of his Saints journey.
“I can’t stop here, this is just the start of what I hope is my career,” he concluded. “When the chance came, I should have used my left foot but I hope I will get another opportunity to prove I can make it at this level.
“I was nervous but the welcome from the supporters was brilliant and the senior guys told me to just relax and prove myself. I want to move on from here and keep working hard.”
Michael Obafemi was born in Ireland to Nigerian parents and raised in England.