According to a report by the Evening Standard in May 2017 West Ham United were interested in signing Southampton striker Shane Long, and they should be mightily relieved that they didn’t get him.
Well, the Evening Standard reported that then Irons manager Slaven Bilic was keen to strengthen his frontline and was eyeing up potential moves for Long and Chelsea attacker Michy Batshuayi, as the Croatian looked to add more pace to his team.
However, no move for the Republic of Ireland international materialised as the east London outfit bought Marko Arnautovic from Stoke City and Javier Hernandez from Bayer Leverkusen instead.
Long ended up staying at Southampton for the 2017/18 campaign and is still starting matches for them now – as he did for the trip to Manchester City on Sunday – despite a shocking run of form in front of goal.
Incredibly, the 31-year-old has failed to net this season and has just five goals in his previous 71 Premier League appearances for Saints, and he had two decent chances to score in the 6-1 reverse at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
The Irishman may have an abundance of pace that causes real problems for opposition defenders, but his lack of conviction in front of goal ultimately means that it is mind-boggling why he is still starting top-flight games for them.
Meanwhile, things haven’t gone right for Hernandez at the London Stadium – despite his good finish against Burnley on Saturday – either despite the huge promise he arrived in east London with, but West Ham will still be relieved that they signed him instead of Long last year.