Southampton and Mark Hughes will be hopeful of steering well clear of a relegation battle this season, having struggled immensely last time out in the Premier League.
The former Stoke manager saved the Saints from relegation and it’s to him they owe a great deal of respect to.
They were a sinking ship under Pellegrino and if wasn’t for Mark Hughes, Southampton would probably be a Championship team right now.
Hughes, a former Southampton player himself, is aware of what the club means to fans and so for them to see a number of new signings this summer was a great thing. However, they could have spent even more if they sensible with their departures, for example letting Shane Long leave the club.
Long, who is valued at £6.3 million on Transfermarkt had a bad season, alike many of his team-mates last season, and that form consequently earned him a permanent place on the bench pretty much.
The Irishman is definitely still a worthy signing, seeing as he still has a tremendous work-rate, good pace and an eye for goal. However for Southampton, a club who want to be on the up, Long isn’t the best striker for them and he should have realised a move away from the club would have been best for everyone.
The recent arrival of Danny Ings further ruins his chance at getting a run in the team as Austin and Gabbiadini are also ahead of him in the pecking order.
Shane Long is among a number of good strikers that will all be ahead of him in the cue to start meaning the Irishman would seriously have to consider his future at St Mary’s.
At the age of 31-years-old, Long needs to be securing regular football and allowing his attributes to boost another team. Instead the way he is going, Shane Long will be surplus to requirements and cast aside in the Southampton squad.
With the loan window in the Championship still open, Long can hope for a late move away, or game time is going to be extremely hard to come by.
Was Long right to fight for his place or should he try and force a late move… Let us know!