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Kazeem Olaigbe determined to grasp first opportunity of senior football at Ross County

Kazeem Olaigbe at Ross County's pre-season training camp in Verona, Italy, after joining on loan from Southampton.
Kazeem Olaigbe at Ross County's pre-season training camp in Verona, Italy, after joining on loan from Southampton.

Kazeem Olaigbe is eager to grasp his first opportunity of senior football after joining Ross County on a season-long loan.

Southampton winger Olaigbe made the temporary switch to Victoria Park earlier this week, and has joined up with the Staggies on their pre-season training camp in Verona.

The Belgian has enjoyed a fruitful spell with Saints’ under-23s team, netting 13 goals and making four assists in 23 outings last term.

It led to the 19-year-old being nominated for the Premier League 2 player of the year award.

Olaigbe has also broken into the international setup, with five caps for Belgium’s U19s side.

The chance to make his mark at first team level was an opportunity Olaigbe was keen to grasp, and he is eagerly anticipating the forthcoming Scottish Premiership season.

Olaigbe said: “I feel like this is a new step for me. I have learned a lot at Southampton and improved, so hopefully I can bring it here and show what I can do.

“I am a left winger, but I can play on the right as well or in the number 10 position.

“I’m very quick and fast and I can take players on, if it’s not the first one it’s the second one.

Kazeem Olaigbe celebrates after scoring for Southampton under-21s.

“I like to bring assists and score goals.

“It is a high level at Premier League 2, but I can see here it is different. Everybody really wants to win, which is what I want to see.”

Staggies the sole focus for winger

Olaigbe joins a Staggies team who are fresh from finishing sixth in the top-flight last season, in Malky Mackay’s first campaign in charge.

Although he recently signed a new contract until 2024 with Southampton, Olaigbe is solely focused on his next 12 months in Dingwall.

He added: “For the moment, it’s all about Ross County for me.

Kazeem Olaigbe at Ross County's pre-season training camp in Verona, Italy, after joining on loan from Southampton.
Kazeem Olaigbe at Ross County’s pre-season training camp in Verona, Italy, after joining on loan from Southampton.

“In the first few days, I can see the team is very good. Everybody has been giving 100%, so the past few days have been good.

“The team did well last season and we will try to do the same thing this year.

“I am looking to try and help the team in every manner I can.”

Olaigbe’s switch from Saints to County continues a strong relationship which has been built between the two sides in recent times.

He follows defenders Jake Vokins and Kayne Ramsay, who made the temporary move from St Mary’s last season.

Jake Vokins spent last season at Ross County.

Former Saints winger Josh Sims is also part of the Staggies’ squad for the new campaign.

Olaigbe was not short of people to lean on for advice, adding: “I spoke to them, and they told me it was a good team.

“They just told me I have to give my all every day and I will get my chance.”

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