Hampshire Live journalist Tom Leach has shared an update on Ralph Hasenhuttl’s plans for Shane Long this summer, with it looking likely that he will depart Southampton on a permanent deal.
In a Q and A session with Saints fans, Leach shared his thoughts on Long’s future with Southampton, after the 34-year-old striker spent the second half of last season on loan with Bournemouth in the Championship.
“As things stand, Shane Long is training with the first team at Staplewood and has been front and centre of their pre-season preparations.
“It looks likely, at this stage, that he will leave this summer but Hasenhuttl is open to watching him during these early weeks, as he is with all his returning loan players.
“However, Long is not currently in his plans and will have plenty of Championship interest.”
Last season saw Long manage just 201 minutes of Premier League action across 11 appearances, in which he failed to contribute a single goal or assist.
The Irishman has never been a consistent goalscorer for Southampton, with the 10 goals he managed in the 2015/16 season the only time he has managed double digits in the Premier League, so it is somewhat strange that he has remained at the club for this long.
Whilst he was a useful squad player to have in the past, at 34, it seems clear that Long is no longer of any use to Hasenhuttl, and considering he reportedly earns £60k per week at St Mary’s, it would be for the best if he was let go this summer, even if it meant sacrificing any sort of transfer fee.
He did however manage two goals in 11 appearances whilst on loan at Bournemouth last season, so it is no surprise that some Championship clubs are keen to take a chance on him this summer, so hopefully, this update from Leach means that Southampton are well on their way to getting rid of him good, which fans will be delighted with considering his lack of impact in recent seasons.
And, in other news… Carlton Palmer suggests Saints should sell this star player…