Bournemouth signing this 34-year-old veteran star adds some valuable depth at a crucial juncture


Why Bournemouth signing Shane Long is a massive promotion boost

According to Sky Sports, Bournemouth have completed the signing of Southampton striker Shane Long on a six-month loan deal. 

The Cherries roped in the 34-year-old as a replacement for Joshua King, who returned to the Premier League with Everton on deadline day after failing to agree on a new deal at the Vitality Stadium. Long is now expected to provide immediate cover-up top as Jason Tindall’s side aim for a return to the top-flight at the first time of asking.

Long’s struggles at Southampton

Shane Long joined Southampton from Hull City in the summer of 2014, having played for the likes of Reading and West Brom earlier in his career. The Republic of Ireland international enjoyed his most prolific campaign in the top-flight with a 10-goal haul for the Saints back in 2015-16. 

Shane Long
Long in action for the Republic of Ireland (Getty Images)

However, the veteran hasn’t been able to reach the same heights at St. Mary’s over the past few seasons. Long managed just 12 league goals in his last four seasons for Southampton despite featuring prominently as a key squad player. He signed a new two-year deal until 2022 last summer but had found himself down the pecking order under Hasenhuttl.

Long started just a single PL fixture for the Saints this season while making 10 substitute appearances. The writing seemed to be on the wall for him though, with just over 200 minutes of top-flight football under his belt. 

With Che Adams, Theo Walcott, Nathan Redmond, Moussa Djenepo and Danny Ings all ahead of him in the pecking order, Long’s situation at St. Mary’s looked unlikely to change between now and the end of the season.

Shane Long (Getty Images)
Shane Long started just once in the Premier League for Southampton this season (Getty Images)

More competition for places at Bournemouth?

Bournemouth haven’t really lacked firepower in front of goal in the Championship this season.  

The south coast outfit have had their goals evenly spread out throughout the squad. While Dominic Solanke and Junior Stanislas have contributed the most, David Brooks, Sam Surridge and Arnaut Danjuma Groeneveld have all chipped in as well. 

Having said that, however, the inclusion of Shane Long still comes as a boost. With almost 14 seasons in the top-flight under his belt, it’s a no-brainer that the Irishman represents an excellent short-term option for the Cherries in front of goal. 

Long hasn’t been at the top of his game in the Premier League in recent seasons, struggling to find the net on a regular basis. But a return to the Championship for the first time in over a decade could be exactly what he needs to rediscover his mojo.

Shane Long of Southampton is challenged by Ben Mee of Burnley during the Premier League match between Southampton FC and Burnley FC at St Mary's Stadium on February 15, 2020 in Southampton, United Kingdom. (Getty Images)
Shane Long of Southampton is challenged by Ben Mee of Burnley during the Premier League match between Southampton FC and Burnley FC at St Mary’s Stadium on February 15, 2020, in Southampton, United Kingdom. (Getty Images)

Given his experience and leadership, Long fits the bill as a quality addition to a Bournemouth forward line that has largely relied on the exuberance of youth.

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Bournemouth need to hit top gear heading into a hectic and crucial final quarter of the campaign. The arrival of Shane Long, to that end, could go a long way towards helping the Cherries climb up the table.