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Shane Long's Premier League Career Could Be Handed A Lifeline

Shane Long's Premier League Career Could Be Handed A Lifeline
By PJ Browne

If Shane Long wants regular first team football next season, bar an injury crisis, it is more than likely not going to happen at Southampton.

The 30-year-old came off the bench on Wednesday night for his 22nd substitute appearance of the season in the league. In contrast, he has started just nine games.

Long's role under Claude Puel appears to be set this season. Worryingly, that bit-part role might not even be there for him next season.

The Southampton manager said late last month, when asked about Long's future at the club, that it will be decided this summer.

The French manager also added that Long, who signed a new four-year deal at St. Mary's last summer, could have further competition for his position next season. He has already found himself behind both Charlie Austin and Manolo Gabbiadini at various points this season.

According to the London Evening Standard, Long could have a lifeline which would keep him in the Premier League. The paper reports that Long is on West Ham's wishlist.

West Ham's move to the London Stadium and the bigger pitch which it houses has led to a need for more mobile players who can stretch defences. That is something which Slaven Bilic's side currently lacks and a quality which Long could provide.

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Photo by David Maher/Sportsfile

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