Aug 14, 2014, 11:25 AM EDT
Southampton have splashed the cash to sign Hull City striker Shane Long for $20 million as the Irish striker becomes Saints sixth new signing as the massive summer overhaul continues at St. Mary’s.
Long, 27, will join the South Coast club on a four-year deal after the Republic of Ireland international spent just half a season with Hull.
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In January the pacey frontman left West Bromwich Albion for the Tigers in a $10 million deal and just 15 PL games and four goals later, Steve Bruce’s men have doubled their money for the forward.
Saints needed a new striker. They offered Hull an extremely large sum of money. Everybody is happy.
On the face of things it does seem like a rather large transfer fee for a player who has now played in the Premier League for six seasons and is yet to break into double figures. Long has scored 23 PL goals in 96 games over the past four seasons with Hull and West Brom.
Speaking to the club website Saints manager Ronald Koeman stated that he hopes Long’s arrival will create a strong partnership with 6 foot 4 striker Graziano Pelle during the new season and beyond.
“Shane is a very good player. As a striker, he’s different to Pelle, which is something we needed,” Koeman said. “He brings ambition and a great mentality – he’s always running and always working, and he’s very down-to-earth. He’s a great person, and we need that type of player. He brings a lot of experience to our squad because he’s already played at Premier League level for a few years. He knows what we need at this level, and he can show that to our younger players as well.”
Long’s partnership with Pelle will be key in a new look Southampton side. After losing Rickie Lambert this summer and Jay Rodriguez still out with his ACL injury, Southampton were looking incredibly light up front and have moved to address that. Long is “delighted” with the moves and hopes to be integral to Saints’ future plans.
“You look at how well they did last season and they are developing a new squad for this year to try and achieve those accomplishments again,” Long said. “Hopefully I can be a big part of that.”
With the club raising up to $175 million in transfer fees over the summer by selling Lambert, Luke Shaw, Adam Lallana, Calum Chambers and Dejan Lovren, you get the feeling other clubs are holding out for more cash when it comes to selling players to Saints.
This deal for Long proves that but if the Irish international links up with Pelle and hits form, it could be a shrewd buy as ‘Ronald’s Revolution’ continues at Southampton. Romanian defender Florin Gardos also arrived on Thursday from Steaua Bucharest for a fee thought to be around $10 million.
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