SAINTS striker Michael Obafemi has backed himself to beat World Cup winner Kylian Mbappe in a race.

Mbappe, who plays for French giants PSG, is regarded as one of the quickest players in football.

But 18-year-old Obafemi reckons the superstar wouldn’t stand a chance against him in a sprint to the finish line.

Daily Echo: Kylian Mbappe in action for PSGKylian Mbappe in action for PSG

“He’d be left behind, don’t worry about that,” revealed Obafemi.

“I ran 100 metres in 10.8 seconds about two years ago. I don’t know what I’d clock now but I’m very confident about getting in behind defenders.”

Obafemi is currently nursing a hamstring injury that has ruled him out for the remainder of the Premier League season.

It’s the second time this season that the youngster has had to miss a run of games due to being sidelined.

After scoring his first top-flight goal for Saints against Huddersfield back in December, Obafemi didn’t return until late February for the Arsenal match.

This prompted manager Ralph Hasenhuttl to question the striker’s professionalism and recovery methods.

Up until the setback, it had been a whirlwind season for the 18-year-old.

He was called up to represent the Republic of Ireland and made his debut in the goalless draw with Denmark last November.

And with the current Ireland boss Mick McCarthy being replaced by Stephen Kenny in 2020, Obafemi is keen to reach the World Cup in 2022.

He added: “Stephen made a big impression on me when we met for the first time recently at Southampton.

“We had a productive conversation and hopefully I’m part of his squad.

“My main ambition is to reach the next World Cup in 2022. The experience of playing at a World Cup is not something everyone can say they’ve had.

“There’s a lot of young, exciting Irish talent emerging and hopefully we can qualify because it would a massive achievement.”