This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Newly-recruited Swansea City striker Michael Obafemi will be adapting to life in South Wales, after arriving from Premier League side Southampton in a deal potentially worth up to £2m.
After signing a three-year deal at the Swansea.com Stadium, he will be hoping to become a first-team regular after playing a minor role behind Danny Ings during his time at St Mary’s and failing to make a major impression on the south coast.
The Swans’ sale of Jamal Lowe on deadline day may have changed the game for Obafemi after seeing the new Bournemouth man score 14 Championship goals alongside star man Andre Ayew last term, with the Ghanaian also leaving the club since the end of last season.
Quiz: 12 of these 25 Swansea City facts are fake – Can you identify them?
But after only playing a limited amount of football in recent years and not being given the chance to flourish in a loan spell, with his arrival at Russell Martin’s side set to be his first experience of Championship football, some fans may be sceptical about seeing him in the starting 11 straight away.
Because of this, we asked three of our writers whether they view the Republic of Ireland international as one of the first names on the teamsheet for the second-tier side.
I expected Russell Martin to line his Swansea side up in a 3-4-1-2 formation but in the last few matches there has been two attacking midfielders supporting a lone striker in Joel Piroe – and the Dutchman’s good form means that getting into Martin’s plans immediately may not be straight-forward.
Obafemi clearly has talent but he’s not played much football at all in the last 12 months owing to an injury that stopped him from making a loan move to the Swans in January 2021.
So it would be a big ask anyway for the Ireland international to come straight in and make an impact and you get the feeling that Martin and his coaching staff will need to get a bit of work into him to make sure he’s up to speed with his system.
Once Obafemi is ready to go though, I can easily see him partnering Piroe up-front – although Swansea’s depth in that area of the pitch isn’t brilliant.
Morgan Whittaker and Liam Cullen will be the two deputies and they’re not exactly experienced at Championship level – neither is Obafemi but he has some Premier League experience on his side so I can see him in time becoming the leading striker for the Swans.
I think there’s a considerable chance he’s going to be involved a fair deal this season.
You only have to look at the options Swansea now have in their attacking ranks to think that Obafemi has been brought in to be playing regular football as part of Russell Martin’s final third make-up.
Ultimately, Martin didn’t have a massive amount of time to reshape the squad how he wanted but he did make a few changes, particularly further forwards, and you have to think that he therefore sees Obafemi as a real part of what he wants to be doing.
He’s a bright attacker with plenty to offer and I think it’s a good opportunity for him to really show what he can do.
I reckon so.
Swansea are obviously in need of attacking reinforcements following the departure of Jamal Lowe to Bournemouth, and Obafemi strikes me as a similar type of player.
He can play out wide or through the middle, and I think his pace could really compliment Joel Piroe who has started this season in impressive form.
He’ll obviously have to work hard and be patient, but he’s been a sought after player for a while and he’s undoubtedly an exciting addition for the Swans.
I can see him being key.