Thursday 18 December 2014

Saints land Long

Published 14/08/2014 | 16:21

Shane Long has moved to Southampton
Shane Long has moved to Southampton

Southampton have announced the signing of striker Shane Long from Hull.

The Republic of Ireland international only joined the Tigers from West Brom in January but now moves to St Mary's on a four-year deal.

Southampton stated on their Twitter feed: "OFFICIAL: #SaintsFC has completed the signing of @HullCity striker @Shanelong009 on a four-year contract. #SaintShane."

The 27-year-old moves for an undisclosed fee after scoring four goals in 15 appearances for Steve Bruce's side last season.

Long will provide some much-needed attacking impetus for Southampton boss Ronald Koeman alongside fellow new recruit Graziano Pelle after the departures of striker Rickie Lambert and midfield talisman Adam Lallana.

"Shane is a very good player. As a striker, he's different to Graziano Pelle, which is something we needed," Koeman told the club's official website.

"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.

"Shane will be an important player for us and our future."

It has been a summer of upheaval on the south coast with defender Dejan Lovren joining Lambert and Lallana in moving to Liverpool, Luke Shaw departing for Manchester United, Calum Chambers exiting to Arsenal and former boss Mauricio Pochettino heading for Tottenham.

Jay Rodriguez and Morgan Schneiderlin have also been tipped to leave the club before the end of the transfer window but the additions of Long and Pelle, alongside FC Twente winger Dusan Tadic, will quell the fears of some of the Saints faithful.

Long first moved to England with Reading and spent six years at the Madejski Stadium before moving to West Brom in the summer of 2011.

He spent two-and-a-half years with the Baggies before his short stint in East Yorkshire and cannot wait to get started with his third club in seven months.

"I'm delighted," he said. "This came out of the blue for me but, once I'd come and had a look at the training facilities and met the manager, it seemed like the right decision for me and my family.

"It was a hard decision for me to make, but when you come down to Southampton you see how big a club it is and how well set up it is.

"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, and hopefully I can be a big part of that.

"Southampton play a brand of football that's enjoyable to watch, and I'm sure it'll be enjoyable to play in as well. I think the formation they play will suit me, and the manager has a lot of knowledge about football and I'm looking to learn off him.

"In theory it's a very good move for me, but all the hard work starts tomorrow when I get on the training pitch because I have to prove my worth."

Press Association Sport understands the Long signing will see Southampton pay short of the reported £12million fee, but it could reach that level if clauses are met.

Long may not be the only signing completed on Thursday, with Steaua Bucharest centre-back Florin Gardos close to moving to St Mary's.

The Romania international is expected to arrive in a £6million deal, replacing Lovren in the heart of Southampton's' back four and joining goalkeeper Fraser Forster and full-back Ryan Bertrand as defensive reinforcements.

Press Association

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