West Ham’s search for a new striker goes on, and reports today are linking Southampton ace Shane Long with a move to the London Stadium. In fact, it’s now just 6/1 for the striker to make a move to the capital at some point this month.
He may not be the most prolific of scorers, but 44 Premier League goals to his name tells you the Republic of Ireland international is certainly capable of causing problems for defenders.
And it’s worth noting that Long – though he’s netted 20 goals in all competitions since arriving at St Mary’s in 2014 – has spent most of his time on the south-coast as an impact player. 31 of his 75 appearances for the Saints have been from the bench.
But the time has come for the 29-year-old striker to take centre stage. And a club like West Ham, who are desperate for a fit, energetic forward to lead the line, would be perfect for Long right now.
Almost Alexis Sanchez-like in his style of play – never allowing defender’s a minute’s piece – the former Reading forward would certainly offer the Hammers something different through the middle.
Andy Carroll, Diafra Sakho, Ashley Fletcher and Simone Zaza (who has already had his loan cut short) are all big, powerful presences. And that’s a great option for Slaven Bilic to have in his attack.
But when it comes to mixing things up a little, the Croatian boss is desperately short of alternatives.
However, the Saints are unlikely to sell Long without adding a striker to their ranks first. Their man forward, Charlie Austin is expected to be out for the remainder of the season – and so a potential move for Long to West Ham could rely on Claude Puel’s own activity in the transfer market.
Long’s estimated value according to transfermarkt.co.uk is £8.5m. And, all things considered, we’d say that’s a fair asking price, and one that the West Ham board would likely be happy to part with for his services.
But what do Hammers think? Is a move for Shane Long a step in the right direction for your club? And would Saints fans be happy to see their striker – who has 17 senior international goals to his name – leave this month?
Have your say in the comments section below!
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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing