Why Shane Long would be a fantastic signing for Celtic
Brendan Rodgers still has few days left in the summer transfer window to make a couple of signings to beef up his squad. Celtic have done very little business in the transfer window and when compared to their direct rivals Rangers, Rodgers will know where his team stands in terms of both quality as well as squad depth.
Celtic have been eliminated from the Champions League and are now competing to book a place in the Europa League group stages. And to compete in the competition, Rodgers needs to have a big squad. As the club has been surrounded with a lot of doom and gloom, the current Celtic side is in need of a push to compete in every single tournament this term.
That being said, Rodgers should go all out to bring in a couple of quality players and that should start with an experienced striker, although shoring up the defence remains the utmost priority. Celtic don’t exactly need another centre-forward given that Rodgers has Leigh Griffiths, Odsonne Edouard and Moussa Dembele in his ranks at the moment but with the Scottish champions competing in Europe, squad depth is very important.
The Bhoys should make an attempt to sign Shane Long, who looks out of favour under Mark Hughes at Southampton. The signing of Danny Ings on loan from Liverpool has left Hughes with five centre-forward options – Ings, Manolo Gabbiadini, Shane Long, Charlie Austin and Sam Gallagher. It seems possible that Long would entertain the prospect of joining Rodgers’ Celtic.
After all, Long’s Premier League career has stagnated in the last few years – he made only 30 appearances last season. This season, he has started one, has come on as a substitute in the other and was not included in the Saints’ matchday squad in their season opener against Burnley.
Now that Long has fallen down the pecking order at St.Mary’s, Celtic must consider signing him before the end of the transfer window.
The Republic of Ireland international is an incredibly industrious centre-forward, and his diligent work rate and selfless attitude would provide the Bhoys with a different dimension in their attack. He would undoubtedly bring flair, potency and something extra to Celtic’s play in the final third.
Long, who joined Southampton in 2014 for £12m, is a physically strong centre-forward, who has a proven goalscoring record and he would be the perfect strike partner for the current crop of attackers at Celtic. While he has been far from prolific in recent years, the 31-year-old’s quality and experience would make him a fantastic addition for the Glasgow outfit.
Given that Long is no more a first-choice striker for Hughes, a move for him is a no-brainer for Celtic, and Rodgers should not hesitate to bring the 31-year-old ace to the Parkhead before August 31.