Saints missed out on potential £9m windfall, now they look set to lose dud for free – opinion

Saints missed out on potential £9m windfall, now they look set to lose dud for free – opinion

Shane Long’s market value has plummeted in recent seasons, which suggests that Southampton should have sold him a long time ago.

The Irish forward joined Southampton from Hull City in deal worth around £12m back in 2014 and has gone on to make 227 appearances for the Saints, in which he has contributed a disappointing 35 goals and 26 assists.

His best return for Southampton in the Premier League came in the 2015/16 campaign when he managed 10 goals in the top-flight but since then his goalscoring return has been far from consistent.

In the five top-flight seasons he has featured in since then, he has managed just 12 goals, so it seems baffling that he is still at St Mary’s and it seems clear that the Saints should have sold him back when Transfermarkt valued him at £9m in 2017, as he is now valued at just £1.08m four years on.

The 34-year-old was surprisingly handed a two-year contract extension in 2020 and after scoring no goals for Southampton since then, he now looks set to leave St Mary’s on a free transfer when his contract expires at the end of this season.

It has been clear for some time now that Long is no longer good enough to be playing for Southampton in the Premier League, with the veteran forward spending the second half of last season on loan with Bournemouth in the Championship and managing just two goals.

Therefore, in retrospect, the club should have definitely looked at selling him back in 2017 when he was valued at a career-high £9m as it certainly hasn’t proven to be worthwhile keeping him at St Mary’s, especially considering he is one of the top earners in Ralph Hasenhuttl’s squad.

Although the 34-year-old may be a good player to have around the dressing room, he has been very disappointing in recent seasons and fans will surely be glad to see him leave at the end of this season.

And, in other news… Bye-bye Forster: Semmens should seal Saints swoop for “exceptional” beast

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