Mark Kerton Long had been with the Saints since 2014.
# Servant
Southampton confirm that Shane Long has left the club after 8 years
The Irishman has been linked with a return to Reading.

SOUTHAMPTON HAVE CONFIRMED that Ireland international Shane Long has left the Premier League side following the conclusion of his contract.

The 35-year-old had been with the Saints since 2014 and finishes up after making 245 appearances and scoring 37 goals for the club.

The Irishman has been linked with a move to Championship club Reading, where he previously spent seven seasons.

Long, who has also won 88 caps for Ireland, will be fondly remembered by many Southampton fans for his contributions over the past eight years.

Among his highlights was the 2015/16 season when he scored 13 goals to help the club to a record sixth-place finish in the Premier League, ensuring they qualified for the Europa League.

Long also scored the Premier League’s fastest-ever goal for the Saints in 2019, netting after just 7.69 seconds against Watford as he played a key role in helping his team to fight off the threat of relegation in that 2018/19 campaign.

Long made 13 league appearances in his final season with the club, scoring once, while he also bagged a goal in the FA Cup. The veteran was seen as a positive influence behind the scenes at Southampton in recent years but his time with the club has now finished.

“Everyone at Southampton Football Club would like to express their gratitude to Shane for his incredible dedication and service throughout his time at St Mary’s, and we wish him well for the future,” reads an official statement.

Long could now return to Reading, who were his first English club after moving from Cork City in 2005.

Long scored 54 goals in 203 appearances for The Royals up until 2011 when he joined West Brom. He subsequently had a stint with Hull before joining Southhampton for a reported £12 million.

The Tipperary man won the most recent of his 88 Ireland caps last year and has 17 international goals to his name.

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