A number of Southampton’s academy graduates have been sent out on loan this season in desperate need of vital first team experience, but one youngster in particular has made their mark at their new club quicker than anybody else.
Whilst many academy graduates initially struggle to handle the physicality and competitive nature of the Football League, Olufela Olomola has appeared unfazed, kicking off his loan move with Yeovil Town in the finest of fashions.
After five League Two appearances, Olomola has already found the back of the net on four separate occasions, averaging a goal for every 93 minutes that he’s played. What’s even more impressive about this however, is that he’s managed to do this with just six attempts at goal – missing the target with just one attempt in green and white colours so far.
But believe it or not, I haven’t spent my last few Saturday’s keeping a close eye over Olomola and Yeovil Town. So rather than sitting here and rambling away about his fine form whilst out on loan, I decided to speak to Stephen D’Albiac – a sports writer at the Western Gazette and the Somerset Live.
How have the Yeovil fans taken to Olufela Olomola so far?
SD: So far, very well. Fela has made a great start and provided a constant attacking threat. He’s clearly a determined young player and his attitude has certainly endeared him to the supporters, along with the goals that he has added.
What does he bring to the side that you didn’t have before?
SD: He has helped Yeovil become an attacking threat, which is something that was lacking last season. He’s strong, direct and not afraid to run at defenders, and his pace and the way in which he has linked up with fellow attackers Francois Zoko and Otis Khan has been a real threat to the opposition.
What strengths has he shown?
SD: As before, he’s strong and direct, able to run past defenders and his finishing has been very good. He never stops running either which is a quality that any supporter likes.
What areas of his game still need work?
SD: There have been a couple of times during games this season where he has decided to go it alone when he should have picked passes out, but that is only a very minor criticism given what he has brought to the team so far.
Olomola’s loan deal ends in January; do you think the club should look to extend his stay?
SD: Absolutely, and I would go so far as to say it should be the club’s number one priority between now and January. I’m sure the club will try to extend his deal. They were stung in the loan market last season when they lost Ryan Hedges – who was equally impressive – to Barnsley in January and they will want to do everything they can to avoid a repeat of that. As long as Fela keeps scoring goals and continuing his development, I don’t see any reason why Southampton would not be happy to agree an extension.
And finally, have the fans conjured up a song for him yet?
SD: Not yet, but there’s still plenty of time! If he keeps banging in the goals then I’m sure he’ll get one.