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Koeman: 'Long has ambition and a great mentality'

SOUTHAMPTON manager Ronald Koeman has hailed the arrival of Irish striker Shane Long in a £12.5m move from Hull City.

The 27-year-old Tipperary native 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 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.

"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.

Florin Gardos also agreed a four-year contract at St Mary's, with the centre-back joining for a fee believed to be £6million from Romanian champions Steaua Bucharest.

Gardos comes to the Premier League after winning back-to-back Romanian titles with Steaua and Koeman believes the 25-year-old will only improve as he fills the gap left by Lovren.

"I am very happy to have Florin here," he said.


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