Once considered an important player at Southampton, the last few seasons have not quite been the same for Shane Long. The 31-year-old’s form has dwindled in recent seasons and has not recovered.
A former Championship player previously, a step back down to the second-tier might be what Long needs to reignite his form.
Why Shane Long Should Return To The Championship
Fading Ability in the Top-Flight
In the past two seasons, Shane Long has only scored five league goals. Last season the striker only found the net twice and in the 2016/17 season, he managed just three league goals for the Saints.
The Republic of Ireland international has played in the top-flight for six years now. Turning out for the likes of West Bromwich Albion, Hull City and now Southampton, Long has plenty of experience in the Premier League.
However, it appears as if his best days in the top-flight are behind him. His best season to date as a Premier League player was during the 2015/16 season; scoring 10 league goals in 28 appearances for Southampton.
Proven Championship Pedigree
Prior to becoming an established top-flight player, Shane Long spent his earlier years on the books at Reading in the Championship. It was these years that can be considered his best.
His best ever season was the 2010/11 season at Reading where he scored 21 league goals for the Royals, firing them into the Championship play-off final.
There have been times during his top-flight years where Long has proven his ability. Now if he was to return to the Championship, he would be bringing a wealth of experience with him, which will add to his already known second-tier pedigree.
Plenty Left in the Tank
Despite Shane Long’s form drastically dipping in recent years, there is no doubt that there is plenty for the forward to still offer.
Boasting an impressive work-rate and commitment, Long is someone who will happily do the gritty work that others will shy away from. Whether it would be chasing a long ball or pressuring the opposition in their own half, Long is capable.
A move down the Championship could be a welcome move for Long, especially if he wants to reignite his prominent form in-front of goal and prove his worth as a player once again.
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