Sheffield United should sign Shane Long in January
A former Hull City star, Long has been on the periphery of Mark Hughes’ squad for quite some time now. In fact, he has hardly received adequate game time this season and has struggled to find the back of the net as well.
As a result, he has fallen far below the pecking order at St. Mary’s. But don’t let that fool you; Long could be just what Sheffield United need in the days to come.
United are in dire need of a new forward and they should welcome a player as skilled and experienced as the 31-year-old. His technical skills and know-how of the game would provide the Blades with a different dimension up front.
In 122 Premier League games for the Saints, Long has scored a mere 20 goals. Granted, the numbers don’t look all that impressive but the player could be a lot more clinical and prolific at a lower level.
Since the likes of Charlie Austin, Manolo Gabbiadini and Danny Ings are well ahead of him at St. Mary’s, Long would be best served by moving elsewhere either in January or next summer. And to that end, joining a club like Sheffield United does seem like a smart move.
Embroiled in a tough promotion battle at the moment, Chris Wilder’s men have performed admirably this season. However, to get to the next level, they need to reinforce their attacking department.
Although Billy Sharp has been excellent form this term, his goals have been far from enough to fire them to an automatic promotion spot. And in situations where he does not receive support from his teammates, Sharp often struggles. However, Long is the exact opposite.
Even if those behind him aren’t stepping up, Long’s admirable work rate and relentless running would end up pressurizing the opposition defence.
Furthermore, he has proven his mettle at this level before, making him a solid choice for Sheffield United. Wilder’s men do not include enough players with top-flight experience and that would come in handy during the latter part of the season.
And if they do get promoted, a figure like Long could work wonders for them both on the pitch and off it. Hence, Wilder should plot a move for the Southampton man in the January window.