Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Why Pulis Should Try To Make The Difficult Transfer Of This Southampton Forward To West Brom Happen

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Subhayan Dutta
Subhayan used to be the Featured Columnist at The 4th Official. Completely immersed in football and almost all other sports on planet.

West Bromwich Albion are looking to beef up their options up front and as per reports, they are planning a bid for Southampton striker Shane Long.

Long left West Brom in January 2014 to join Hull City, which was followed by a move to Southampton for £’12m a few months later. Bringing a 29-year-old is understandably a short term solution and it is clear that Pulis is seeking someone who could directly get into his first team and keep the score sheet ticking.

However, Shane Long hasn’t had the best of the season so far with injuries delaying his start at Southampton. He managed to open his score sheet only on New Year’s Eve when he bagged a goal in the Saints’ 2-1 defeat to West Brom.

Having spent a long spell of six years in Reading, Shane Long is pretty much acquainted with the English top flight football and could be a reliable option in the attacking third for any team in the Premier League. And getting hands on him won’t be very easy for the Baggies as they will face stiff competition from West Ham United in his chase.

Another major reason, Southampton boss Claude Puel would not let Long depart this winter is his own lack of options at the striking positions. With Charlie Austin out until April with a shoulder injury, Puel is only left with Jay Rodriguez, other than Long, up front.


At 180 cm, Long excels in making timely runs with decent speed and good finishing. Any team looking to catch their opponent on the counter would have a brilliant asset in Long. However, he is never consistent in his form. He has played 350 games so far in English football and managed only 85 goals. This season too, he has managed only one goal in 16 appearances.

Mid-season has never been an easy time to shop for any club as most clubs are unwilling to sell their first team players with the season running. But, Shane Long looks like the only feasible option West Brom have at the moment as the other two strikers, who have drawn interest from clubs this summer, are Bournemouth’ Benik Afobe and Brentford’s Scott Hogan.

West Bromwich Albion have regained their place in the top half and are fighting for European qualification sitting at the eighth position, just two places above Southampton in the league table. And as the Saints look highly unlikely to retain their position in the top half of the table for long, given their recent string of poor performances, Long might well choose to make a move.

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