Recent reports have suggested that Southampton striker Michael Obafemi could be included in a deal for Adam Armstrong this summer, which could effectively allow Ralph Hasenhuttl to kill two birds with one stone.
What’s the word?
According to journalist Alan Nixon, Obafemi could be sent to Blackburn on a permanent deal as a makeweight in the signing of Armstrong, who has been heavily linked with a move to St Mary’s in recent weeks.
The report suggests that Blackburn manager Tony Mowbray is a fan of Obafemi and with Southampton some way off the Championship side’s current valuation for the forward, a deal could well go through if he is sent to Ewood Park along with an increased offer.
Should Southampton do this deal?
Obafemi featured for just 57 minutes of Premier League football last season, as he fell behind the likes of Nathan Tella and Dan N’Lundulu in the pecking order in Hasenhuttl’s side, despite boasting a decent amount of first team experience.
During his Saints career thus far, the Republic of Ireland striker has made 38 appearances, contributing five goals and four assists, which included three in the top-flight in the 2019/20 season, so it is definitely fair to suggest that he regressed last season.
Hasenhuttl has questioned his attitude in the past, saying:
“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.”
Therefore, it would not be a huge blow for Southampton to lose him this summer, especially when you consider that his contract is set to expire at the end of next season.
In return, they would be getting a player who finished second to only Ivan Toney in the Championship goalscoring charts last season, with Armstrong hitting 28 goals in the second tier and one in the League Cup for an impressive season tally of 29.
Mowbray was full of praise for the former Newcastle United man last season, saying:
“He’s a boy really, but his explosive pace at the top end of the pitch allows you to play both ways, to not be overly concerned if you’re pinned back around the edge of your box because one pass releases pressure to someone like (Harvey) Elliott to play the pass that he can hit just leaving it in the space for the speed and dynamic movement of Armstrong – it’s a devastating effect for the team.”
Therefore, Hasenhuttl should definitely consider sending Obafemi to Blackburn in order to bring in Armstrong this summer, as he could be a superb option for the Saints to have next season.