The Republic of Ireland international moved to the Hawthorns from Reading in the summer, and has scored three goals in seven games for The Baggies, including one at the weekend against Sunderland.
After the performance, Hodgson hailed Long’s rise to the top flight of English football.
“Shane came from Ireland where he was playing hurling at 17. He has gone straight to Reading and become a star player within two or three years got into the Irish national team and then into the Premier League so it is a meteoric rise,” he told Mirror Football.
“We are talking about a young lad of 24 who started very late and is still to some extent learning the game. I think we are still working on someone with great potential but I am delighted with his performances.
“I don’t think we paid a lot for potential. The figures quoted are wrong and if people knew how much we had paid, they certainly wouldn’t be saying it was too much. He might be the bargain of the year,” he concluded.
By Gareth McKnight