Blackburn Rovers manager Tony Mowbray has confirmed his club’s interest in signing Southampton forward Michael Obafemi. The confirmation from Mowbray follows Blackburn’s acceptance of a transfer offer from Southampton for star forward Adam Armstrong. The only question remaining is just how much Southampton currently values their former youth star.
The 21-year-old forward is currently seen as a back-up player at Southampton. Struggling with fitness in recent seasons, Obafemi has failed to take a much anticipated permanent step up into the Southampton first team. This comes despite the Irishman’s combination of talent, quality and pace that few others truly possess.
Tony Mowbray Confirm Interest in Southampton’s Michael Obafemi
Speaking to the media, Mowbray confirmed that Blackburn has interest in signing the Irish international on a permanent deal: “It’s something that’s been mooted, those sort of things become personal to the point the boy wants to make that move, his advisors have to see it as an opportunity.”
Mowbray also added that the move is “something we’re exploring”. He stopped short of confirming that a move for the Irish international is fully in the works but did state that he has been monitoring the 21-year-old for the past three months. With Armstrong now headed to Southampton, Obafemi could now be a top target for the Rovers.
Rekindling His Once Bright Star
A one-time star in the Southampton academy, Obafemi has lost quite a bit of his shine in recent years. Struggling with fitness and injury concerns, the Irish international has stagnated in recent seasons. Despite his once high stock, Obafemi has gone on to make just 38 appearances for the Saints first team. Even more concerning is that Obafemi has scored just five times for the senior side.
That said, last season may have been the worst one yet for Obafemi. Making just five appearances last season, he failed to score or assist for the first time in his senior career. Needing a change of scenery, a permanent move to Blackburn could be just what the 21-year-old needs to rekindle his former bright flame.
One thing to also keep in mind is how much Obafemi reminds some of Adam Armstrong. This similarity has not gone unnoticed by Tony Mowbray, who said: “I have studied him a lot recently and I see similarities with Adam, he’s mobile, fast, can score, he’s a young boy but we use attributes to help the team play in a certain way.”
With that type of comparison, it seems almost inevitable that Obafemi could be pulling on the Blackburn shirt sooner rather than later.