Football

Shane Long Is Being Linked With The Biggest Irish Transfer For Quite Some Time

Shane Long Is Being Linked With The Biggest Irish Transfer For Quite Some Time

We try and be logical, reasonable and most of all cynical when it comes to the transfer window but sometimes you just can't help but see a rumour and think 'yes, 0ne way or another, we just want to see that happen'. What with all the nonsense about Alexandre Pato to Liverpool, we were getting to the end of our tether with this transfer rumour carry on and it's only half way through January.

Then along comes a report linking Shane Long with a move to either Liverpool or Spurs and we quickly remember why all the transfer nonsense still has the ability to reel us in. The Irish Daily Star are today reporting that Ireland's hero against Germany could be on the way out of Southampton this month with both Jurgen Klopp and Mauricio Pochettino interested in taking the Tipperary man away from St Mary's.

While the initial response to that may be some healthy scepticism, when you think it through it's certainly not as off the wall as many of the reports that we've been hearing over the past couple of weeks (Pato being a case in point). At least as far as Liverpool are concerned, a striker with some Premier League experience who can hit the ground running certainly wouldn't go amiss this month.

Danny Ings is out until the end of the season, Daniel Sturridge is Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi needs a lot of work before becoming a serious option and Christian Benteke is quickly turning into another Liverpool transfer folly of Andy Carroll proportions.

That means that Klopp has been forced to turn to Roberto Firmino as his main forward more often than he would have liked this season. The Brazilian has been hit and miss so far but he showed against Arsenal just how good he can be when on form. That's not to say he's a striker however, and if he can get Firmino and Coutinho playing off a mobile centre forward who can also hold up the ball, then Klopp may be on to a winner.

We wouldn't go as far as suggesting that he's on the level of Robert Lewandowski but he's certainly more of Klopp style forward than Benteke is. He has the pace to run in behind, the ability to bring midfielders into play and, most crucially of all, he'll defend from the front as well as any other striker in the Premier League.

As for Spurs, well it wouldn't really be a Liverpool transfer rumour if Spurs weren't 'ready to swoop' or something along those lines. But that doesn't mean it's an impossibility either. Harry Kane is the only out and out striker in Pochettino's squad. Son Heung-min is an option should Kane be unavailable but, like Firmino, he's more of a second striker. If Spurs want to spend something in the region of £15-20 million on an alternative to Kane then Long would be a very good option.

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It must be said that with Long's recent form, including goals against Arsenal and Watford, and the fact that he has two years left on a four year deal, it's the perfect time for contract negotiations. Should his agent let it be known that he's being looked at by the likes of Liverpool and Spurs then it may just convince Southampton to offer a significant wage rise to the 28 year old.

That's just playing devil's advocate but the reality of the situation is that, if Liverpool or Spurs really are interested in taking him away from the south coast, Southampton are going to be wanting a profit on the £12 million they paid Hull for him in 2014. It may not reach the £19 million that Liverpool paid Spurs for Robbie Keane back in 2008 but it would likely have to be close.

We won't be holding our breath on it happening but we can always hope.

See also: The Irish Youngster To Keep An Eye On From Every Premier League Club

See also: Jurgen Klopp's Only Possible Response To The Crock Of Shit That Is The Transfer Window

Gary Reilly

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