...By Alan Peterson for TDPel Media.
Vincent Kompany, the head coach of Burnley, has revealed his intentions to gradually introduce Michael Obafemi into life at the club.
Obafemi joined Burnley on loan from Swansea City in January for the remainder of the 2022/23 season, but the move is now expected to be made permanent following Burnley’s promotion to the Premier League.
Despite not starting a single league game, the 22-year-old Republic of Ireland international has made 12 Championship appearances from the bench.
However, there have been concerns about his lack of regular game time since joining the club, given his injury record.
Kompany admits that he has been cautious about overusing Obafemi, stating that it has always been the club’s intention to ease him into the team.
Kompany acknowledges the forward’s potential impact, but suggests that there are other players who are currently better suited to playing 90 minutes at the intensity and tempo that Burnley demands.
Obafemi has netted two goals in his 14 appearances for Burnley.
The loan deal was initially meant to provide the forward with more playing time, but he has not yet started a game since joining.
Nevertheless, the loan move has provided him with the opportunity to experience Premier League football with a promoted team, which is something he may not have had the chance to do with Swansea.
Kompany’s cautious approach may also reflect the club’s focus on the long-term rather than short-term gains.
Overusing a player, especially one with a history of injuries, could lead to long-term setbacks.
The Burnley head coach is clearly thinking ahead and ensuring that Obafemi has the best possible chance of contributing positively to the team, both in the short and long term.