Koeman taking a Long shot

Saints unveiled their new £12m man Shane Long this week after signing on a four year contract, but I can’t help but feel this is money that could’ve been better spent. The Republic of Ireland international only signed for Hull in January for close to £7m, and having only netted four times since, Steve Bruce will be laughing all the way to the bank. Indeed Shane Long, in his five full seasons in the Premier League, has only managed to find the net a paltry 28 times – that’s an average of 5.6 goals per season.

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‘But he works hard for the time and provides for others’ I hear you shout – I agree he’s a player who digs in, and uses his pace to apply pressure and close down defenders, but assists? In those five Premier League seasons, Long has managed only 11 assists, that’s an average of 2.2 assists per year. In total, we’re looking at a goal contribution of less than eight, for a player who has just been signed for an eight-figure sum. Is this the state of the market now?

That such a high fee no longer guarantees you goals or even assists, or have Southampton been the victim of a very public transfer kitty and found it impossible to negotiate down to reasonable prices for their targets? Whatever the reason, Ronald Koeman better hope his other signings come up with the goods, as he can’t expect miracles from his new man.

As ever, Hit Row Z has you covered for analysis on the implications of this story. Check out:

Which Premier League teams are addicted to signing strikers?

Which part of the market has your side been shopping in?

Southampton in 2014/15 Season Preview

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