SHANE Long has joined Southampton from Hull City on a four-year contract.
The 27 year-old striker signed to the Saints for an undisclosed fee, and arrives as the club’s latest transfer ahead of Southampton’s opening Premier League game away to Liverpool.
The upcoming season will be the Ireland player’s sixth season playing in the top flight, having represented West Bromwich Albion and Reading in previous years.
Long admitted that the decision to move to Southampton was difficult, but that he is confident he has made the right choice.
“I’m delighted. This came out of the blue for me but, once I’d come and had a look at the training facilities and met the manager, it seemed like the right decision for me and my family,” he said.
“It was a hard decision for me to make, but when you come down to Southampton you see how big a club it is and how well set up it is.
“You look at how well they did last season and they are developing a new squad for this year to try and achieve those accomplishments again, and hopefully I can be a big part of that.
“Southampton play a brand of football that’s enjoyable to watch, and I’m sure it’ll be enjoyable to play in as well. I think the formation they play will suit me, and the manager has a lot of knowledge about football and I’m looking to learn off him.
"In theory it’s a very good move for me, but all the hard work starts tomorrow when I get on the training pitch because I have to prove my worth.”
Saints manager Ronald Koeman welcomed the Irishman’s arrival to St Mary’s Stadium.
“Shane is a very good player. As a striker, he’s different to Graziano Pellè, which is something we needed,” he said.
“He brings ambition and a great mentality – he’s always running and always working, and he’s very down-to-earth. He’s a great person, and we need that type of player.
“Shane will be an important player for us and our future.”