By Rob Carbon
Swansea City striker Michael Obafemi is looking to add table-topping Fulham to his hit list tonight (Tuesday) after notching the first brace of goals in his career at the weekend.
It took a while for the young Republic of Ireland international to make his mark in west Wales after his £1.5m summer transfer from Premier League Southampton, but four goals in his last six games have underlined his talent.
“I’m definitely getting into form, I’m taking my chances and I want to kick on against Fulham,” said the 21-year-old Obafemi.
“I had a slow start to my Swansea career. Now I feel I’ve hit the ground running and I’, showing the fans what I can do.
“I wasn’t really settled to begin with being so far away from home. I’ve adjusted to it now and I’m enjoying it.
“We’re all ready for Tuesday night – bring it on. It doesn’t matter who we play against we want to get three points, whether it is against a team at the top or the bottom.”
Born in Dublin, but raised in London, Obafemi made his Premier League debut at the age of 17 and became The Saints’ youngest scorer in the top-flight a year later when he scored his first professional goal in a 3–1 victory at Huddersfield.
Things have changed since then and Swansea boss Russell Martin has asked him to play in a different way as he looks to get the most out of his striking partnership with top-scorer Joel Piroe.
“The manager wants me to stay in the middle of the goal and the middle of the pitch to get chances. It is a change of approach for me,” added Obafemi.
“I used to try to get in behind defences, but now I stay in the middle. It’s different, but if it gets me goals I’ll do it all day long – just give me one chance and I’ll take it.
“I’d love to get into double digits for sure by the end of the season and to play as many games as possible. We have targets we have set ourselves as a team and we want to keep on winning.
“We have underachieved slightly this season with the way we play and the team we’ve got. Next year we can have a real shot at kicking on for promotion.”
Michael Obafemi in his last 3 home games has 4 goals and 1 assist. It’s good to see his career at Swansea City has lift off.
When he scored at Birmingham in October, I thought he’d kick on then but better late than never. Going to be a big player for us.
So come on Obafemi..🦢 pic.twitter.com/SHwy3m8raH
— Jordan (@JordanWebber96) March 8, 2022
Despite facing a stern test against Fulham, Swansea are in decent form themselves and are aiming to win three consecutive matches for the first time this season. The Swans will be without Cyrus Christie as he is unable to play against his parent club, while Hannes Wolf is still sidelined after missing the win over Coventry due to testing positive for Covid-19.
Martin is looking forward to welcoming Marco Silva’s side to South Wales and has challenged his players to cause a few surprises.
“Even with the two great results we’ve had, there will be no expectation outside this building for us to get any result against Fulham because of the form they’re in and the quality they possess,” added the Swansea boss.
“I think it’s a brilliant opportunity for the guys to really show where they are at and how good they can be.
“Even though we lost 3-1, I loved our performance at Craven Cottage earlier in the season. I was probably happier with that performance than I was with the performance [against Coventry City] on Saturday.
“If we can replicate something like that and play with that intensity, we’ll have a chance of surprising people.”