SAINTS starlet Michael Obafemi has earned his first senior Republic of Ireland call-up after being included in a provisional squad for two matches later this month.

The 18-year-old, who came on as a 73rd-minute substitute for Saints at Manchester City on Saturday, is one of the strikers in Martin O’Neill’s provisional 36-man squad for a friendly against Northern Ireland and the Nations League trip to Denmark.

Dublin-born Obafemi, who was signed from Leyton Orient in 2016, made his debut for Ireland’s U19s during their 2019 European Championship qualifying campaign.

He became Saints’ first player to be born in the year 2000 when he made his debut as a late sub against Tottenham in January.

At 17 and 199 days, that appearance also saw Obafemi become Saints’ second-youngest player in the Premier League after Luke Shaw.

Obafemi’s appearance against Manchester City was his first since then and his first under Mark Hughes after impressing for Saints U23s this season.

“It was something I wanted to have a look at. Clearly at the top end of the pitch we’ve been struggling for someone to give us a spark to set us off to score more goals and create more chances,” Hughes told

“He’s got unbelievable pace. It was important that I had a look at him in the Premier League environment because he could very well be someone we can use.

“Bringing on Michael late on in games as an impact sub could be something that will help us.

“I was pleased with what he did, he didn’t look phased by the stage he was on so that bodes well as something we can work on.

“We’ll see how he progresses. He’s been playing well in the Under-23s and getting goals so he’s deserved his chance.”