Meet Michael Obafemi, Southampton’s newest gem

As often, the spotlight was on Harry Kane when Southampton faced Tottenham in the Premier League on Sunday.

The Englishman grabbed his 99th Spurs goal to help the North London club snatch a 1-1 draw at St Mary’s.

But there was a strange face who almost snatched the limelight from the 23-year-old – Michael Obafemi.

Still, only 17, the striker’s exploits in the Saints youth team earned him a place on the bench against Tottenham and he almost scored the winner during the 10 minutes he got on the pitch.

With the game deadlocked at 1-1, Mauricio Pellegrino threw the rookie on and he came within inches of turning across home but for once his prolific finishing touch deserted him.

Obafemi was born in Ireland to Nigerian parents before relocating to England at a young age.

He spent his formative years at Leyton Orient before being snapped up by the Saints.

Obafemi declared for Ireland last year and was called into the U-18 squad for the Slovakia Cup.

His debut, though, didn’t come until September when he played twice for the Under-19s in their first phase UEFA qualifiers in Waterford.

“It’s a special feeling as I have dreamed of this since I was a kid,” said Obafemi who became the club’s second youngest player after Luke Shaw to make his top-flight debut for the Saints.

“I’m just thankful to the club and all the staff that made it happen.

“I came into training on Saturday believing I would be playing for the under-18s. The manager stopped me and said that I would be training instead and would maybe be in the first-team squad.

“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.

“I can’t stop here, this is just the beginning.”