15 Jan 2016

Surprise Transfer: Liverpool 'definitely interested' in signing 'brilliant' £12m striker. Done deal this month?

Over the last year, Anfield legend Steve Nicol has twice insisted that Liverpool should've signed Shane Long instead of Mario Balotelli, and new reports today suggest that Reds boss Jurgen Klopp is interesting in bringing the Southampton striker to Anfield.

According to the Irish Daily Star:

"Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp [is] keen on acquiring [Shane Long] before the end of the current transfer window".

In a radio interview today with Newstalk, Mark McCadden - who broke the story for the Irish Daily Star - added:

"Liverpool are definitely interested, and he [Long] is high on [Liverpool’s] list".

In my view, Long is a very Rodgers-esque transfer target, but according to Steven Nicol, the Irish international would be a great signing for the club:

“They [Liverpool] spent £16m on Balotelli but I would prefer someone like Shane Long. He might not have the same ability, but the fans will love him, [and] he'll give you everything".

Reds hero Phil Thompson doesn't share Nicol's enthusiasm for Long, and when asked last season about the possibility of a move to Anfield, he told reporters:

“Shane Long has had really good spells this year but I think he’s inconsistent as a goalscorer”

Thommo is right - Long's goalscoring inconsistency is there for all to see:

* 15 goals in 58 games for Southampton (One every 208 minutes).

The last thing Liverpool need is another allegedly attacking player who fails to score/create goals on a regular basis. Southampton boss Ronald Koeman may claim that Long is a 'brilliant' player who is 'always running and working', but that is not a striker's primary role (!)

I'm always wary when managers/pundits/fans lionise this aspect of a player's performance as it usually means the player in question is an overhyped Brit, and/or has an inconsistent creative record. Why isn't Koeman hailing Long's prodigious goalscoring record? Simple: he doesn't have one.

Prime example: Long is 28, and in the prime of his career, but he has never scored more than 8 Premier League goals in a single season. Conversely, in the Championship, he smashed in 21 goals in a single season for Reading, which reveals a lot about the level at which Long is best suited to excel.

Enough with the huff-and-puff Lallana-type players already! Lallana also runs a lot and 'gives everything', but he hasn't score a league goal since DECEMBER 2014. That's almost 13 months, but what the hell - that level of irredeemable mediocrity is okay because - like Long - Lallana is 'always running and working'.

Steven Caulker and Shane Long* in the same transfer window? I thought Brendan Rodgers left the club in October...

* Cost Southampton £12m

Author: Jaimie K


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