April 22, 2024

Saints manager Russell Martin argued that forward Kamaldeen Sulemana deserved to start in Friday’s 1-1 draw with Middlesbrough because of the “way he has trained”.

Kamaldeen, who replaced Welshman David Brooks in the starting lineup, played 63 minutes for the hosts and showed signs of promise throughout the encounter.

His pass from the left side resulted in Jonny Howson’s blunder, which Adam Armstrong capitalized on to score his 19th goal in the Championship this season.

Ryan Fraser replaced the 22-year-old at the hour mark, but Martin lauded the club’s record signing while emphasizing that there is still room for improvement.

He claimed: “He trained really well. He deserves to play. He did some great things and other things that he needs to work on, but he hasn’t played in a long time.

“I am glad he was out there and did the things he did. There are some truly fantastic moments in there.”

The Saints manager has plenty of alternatives in the wide areas, with Kamaldeen pushing for a starting spot alongside Fraser, Brooks, and Samuel Edozie.

Armstrong, who scored the goal, appears to be staying on the wing, with Che Adams leading the line through the centre.

 

Kamaldeen Sulemana - Player profile 23/24 | Transfermarkt

 

The former Swansea City boss feels that Friday’s performance would benefit the Ghanaian speedster in the future.

He continued, “The way he’s trained over the last month or two has been outstanding.” So hopefully today will be a good day for him going ahead.”

The Saints have nine games scheduled for the last month of the season, with potential play-off games added if the club is unable to overtake the top two.

Martin’s team head to promotion rivals Ipswich Town on Easter Monday, where they have a great chance to close the gap at the top.

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