Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl criticised striker Shane Long in his Manchester City pre-match press conference on Friday, and he may have just given Celtic the green light to reignite their interest in their reported summer target as a result.
Long entered the pitch as a substitute for Danny Ings in the 61st minute against the Hammers with Hasenhuttl clearly hoping he would make a similar impact to what Michael Obafemi did against Huddersfield Town last weekend, where he scored once and could have had a hat-trick as he caused chaos with his pace.
It didn’t happen for Long on a difficult night for him and the Austrian’s team however, and speaking on Friday, via The Daily Echo, the 51-year-old said:
“Michael Obafemi it really hurts he is not part of the squad at the moment. The injury in training was a pity because I need him and his speed.
“That’s what I expected from Shane Long and it was not really the same what he put on the pitch and I hope for more in the future.”
Well, they certainly suggest that Hasenhuttl was not impressed with what he saw from the 31-year-old, who may not have got any game time at all had Obafemi been available.
Celtic were linked a move for the Republic of Ireland international during the summer and given manager Brendan Rodgers reportedly wants to bring two new strikers to Parkhead during the January transfer window, it would be no surprise if he still holds some interest in Long.
While he has struggled to be prolific in the Premier League, it is a different kettle of fish in Scotland and his pace and never-say-die attitude means he would be a huge threat to opposition defences and could be a great foil for Odsonne Edouard.
Former Wigan & Fulham man, Jimmy Bullard recently showed that he’s still got it! Check out the video below...