I thought I could help but it was difficult situation when I joined - Kamaldeen Sulemana after Southampton's relegation

Published on: 02 June 2023

Southampton forward, Kamaldeen Sulemana has opened up on his decision to join the Saints.

The Ghana winger joined the club on transfer deadline day and became the club’s record signing.

Kamaldeen arrived from Stade Rennes for a fee of around 25 million euros under Nathan Jones but got sacked after 12 days Sulemana joined the club and was replaced by Ruben Selles.

However, the side has suffered relegation to the English Championship in his debut season in the Premier League.

Kamaldeen remained in the team under Selles until being dropped following a 2-0 defeat to Brentford – with the winger then only starting four of the Premier League’s final 11 matches.

The youngster returned to the XI on the last day of the season for the first time in a month and netted twice in a 4-4 draw with Liverpool, including a sublime solo goal.

“It might have been too late but I’m glad I finally have my goal, it’s good for me,” Kamaldeen reflected, speaking to the Daily Echo.

“When I came here that is what I wanted to do – set up goals and score to help the team to get results. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to do it but I got my goal.

“There’s a feeling of, why didn’t it come before, why didn’t I score before? But I am glad I have made my mark on the last day and showed what I can do on the good days.”

He added: “I would say that football can be very hard sometimes, especially with the situation we’ve been in – it’s been the hardest.

“I want to play every game and that is the conversation we had and one of the main reasons I tried to move from France – to get game time.

“When I saw the situation I felt like I could help. That’s why I came here but since I arrived it has been difficult with the game time, I don’t start some games and have to come in from the bench.

“Sometimes it is based on my physicals, I didn’t have enough playing time in France and the physios and coaches have tried to take care of me, but sometimes it has been tactical.

“It has been hard mentally to not play but I am still young and learning how to make a difference in the team and from the bench, and I have had both – this is good.

“Being the record signing of the club everyone expects a lot from you, especially when we are in a situation like this to come in,” Kamaldeen said.

“Of course, I knew what the situation was and knew I could take the pressure. I believed that I could help the team but sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. The situation became hard, it’s a learning stage for me and I will take it forward," he added.

Kamaldeen Sulemana has been named in Black Stars for the matchday five games of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) against Madagascar.