Talk about adding two and two together and coming up with seven – Tottenham’s need for a new front-man was well documented as rumours of Jermain Defoe’s planned departure to the MLS gathered pace, and it was also known that Shane Long was heading towards the exit door at West Brom, with his contract set to expire in six months time.
Somehow, the two transfer stories emerged into one and the Ireland international was hotly linked with a move to White Hart Lane in a ‘shock cut-price swoop’ back at the start of January.
Speculation on the apparent deal further increased when it was revealed that funds would be limited to Tim Sherwood for the winter window, meaning any striking addition would have to come at low cost.
But is the 27 year-old really the calibre of striker a club aiming for Champions League qualification would be looking at? He dons a Premier League record of just 20 goals in 83 appearances, and his returns for Reading – 44 in 174 Championship outings – and on the international scene – 10 in 43 for Ireland – are hardly what you’d describe as prolific.
And if the Baggies, a team struggling at the less glamorous end of the Premier League table, were prepared to relinquish the 5 foot 11 striker’s services, to such an extent they attempted to offload him for next to nothing in the summer and declined the opportunity to extend his Hawthorns contract by another year despite having the opportunity to do so, why would Spurs be interested?
Rumours persisted that Long would be on his way to North London until he eventually moved to Hull City for £6million, a club far more in line with the Irishman’s uninspiring goal return.