RALPH Hasenhuttl believes Michael Obafemi is still “lacking professionalism” – but hints he could have a “big future” in the game.

The striker started his first Premier League match of the season last weekend game against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.

Following the tie, Obafemi told the Daily Echo that he felt he showed Hasenhuttl why he should be a regular name on the teamsheet, however, Saints’ boss claimed he still has a lot to learn.

He said: “When you reduce Michael only to his speed then I don’t think you are doing right by him. He has a lot more than speed.

“The last time I saw him he was saving balls, playing with others coming in the red zone, turning and keeping the ball up front.

“It’s something of his game that developed and is based on his fitness and willingness to work hard for the team.

“He still has a lack of professionalism in his whole life.

“This is a young guy who must learn quickly. If he does this and gets more physical, fit and can make this workload for a longer time, then he has a big future.

“There is still a long way to go for him.”

Obafemi’s recent progress has been hampered by injuries.

After scoring his maiden goal for the club against Huddersfield last December, he picked up a hamstring injury that ruled him out until February.

He then made his return at the Emirates Stadium as a second half sub, only for his muscle to give way again.

This led to him missing the rest of the campaign.

Since the start of this season, the 19-year-old has made just seven appearances, with one goal to his name after netting at Fulham in the Carabao Cup.

Hasenhuttl has previously questioned the striker’s professionalism and, most recently, likened his body to that of a Formula One car.

When the Saints boss was pressed on what he means by his comments, he added: “He knows it, I know it and you don’t have to know it.”