Should Shane Long Stay At The Hawthorns?
The former Reading man is reportedly unsettled at West Brom and is calling for clarity over the vacant head coach role. An unsettled player could disrupt the rhythm of the squad, especially if West Brom are involved in a relegation battle. The squad needs to be playing for each other as one, to get themselves out of the situation. A want-away player will not help the cause going forward.
If West Brom are to sell Long, they should generate at least 5 million pounds for the Irishmen. Chairman Jeremy Peace has come out and said that there will be no money for the new manager to spend in January, so the sale of Long could help strengthen other key areas. West Brom have a depth of attacking options, with the likes of Anelka and Vydra so Long could be easily replaced within the squad.
The money from the sale could help strengthen the left back position, an area the many fans believe to be the weakest part of the side. Goran Popov and Liam Ridgewell have both been disappointing this season and have been exploited in the Premier League. Someone like Aaron Cresswell at Ipswich would be a fantastic signing and someone who would be a solid figure in the side for years to come. So selling Long to strengthen other places might not be a bad idea.
However, when Long is playing with confidence, many spectators will argue that he is the best striker at The Hawthorns. He has electrifying pace the will give opposing defenders nightmares, and his work rate is phenomenal. He has a willingness to chase lost causes, something rare in the modern day striker, and can beat the likes of 6 foot 6 German international Per Mertesacker in the air.
Both of his goals against Aston Villa were fantastic, showing what an asset he can be to the side. He shown his areal ability to beat John Terry in the air a game later but his performances have dropped a bit since then but on his day he has the potential to be a brilliant player.
There are only six months remaining on Long’s contract, so if he is to leave West Brom he will have to this transfer window so Albion can make some money before losing him on a free transfer this summer.
Ultimately, it will be up to the new head coach whether Long is kept but whatever happens he will leave The Baggies fans with some fantastic memories. It will ideal if he stays because he offers something different from all the other options at West Brom, but it won’t be the end of the world if he is to leave as the money he will generate will strengthen the rest of the squad.