With Southampton having only managed to score five goals in their opening seven Premier League games of the season and still without a win, it’s safe to say that things haven’t been particularly positive for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side in recent weeks.
One player, in particular, that has had a fairly disappointing start to the season is Saints striker Shane Long, who has only played 41 minutes of action for Southampton so far this term after playing 25 minutes in their 8-0 win over Newport County and 16 minutes in their 1-0 defeat against Wolves, both seeing the striker come off the substitutes bench.
Southampton signed Long, who is currently earning a weekly wage of £60k-per-week according to Spotrac back in the 2014 summer transfer window by Ralph Krueger from Hull City for a reported fee of around £12m.
In October 2014, Long’s market value was listed at £9m according to Transfermarkt, the highest it has been throughout his career.
After making a total of 228 appearances for Southampton across all competitions in which he has managed to score 35 goals and provide 26 assists along the way, the 34-year-old’s current value has drastically fallen to just £1.08m.
This shows just how dramatically Long’s value has toppled during his time at St. Mary’s, during which he spent a short loan spell at AFC Bournemouth in the second half of last season. It’s also safe to say that judging by his goals record, this was a seismic mistake from Krueger when he was still on the south coast.
Given the lack of game time Long has had so far this season, it seems unlikely, in our view, that he would be getting his first start of the season in the Premier League anytime soon either.
Looking ahead, with Long’s current contract at Southampton set to expire next summer, we feel that it would probably best for the club to move the veteran on at that point to see if any other club would be willing to take him. That’s unless he can turn the tide and prove himself to be a useful figure for the Saints between now and then.
If Southampton were to let Long go at the end of his contract, we feel that there probably wouldn’t be many Premier League clubs, if any, interested in taking a chance on him.