West Brom eager to keep Shane Long after transfer window shenanigans

The Baggies were on the verge of selling the Irish striker for £5m in September.

Shane Long scored three goals in two games last month.
Shane Long scored three goals in two games last month.
Image: Nick Potts/PA Archive/

WEST BROM WERE on the verge of allowing Shane Long to leave the club for £5m back in September but are now desperate to hang onto the striker.

Hull City tabled a bid for the Tipperary native on the final day of this summer’s transfer window. At the time, WBA’s sporting director Richard Garlick commented, “Given that every player has his price, we discussed it as a club.”

The last-minute deal was said to have collapsed as Hull wanted to pay any transfer fee over a longer period of time. Long had left Ireland’s training camp for England to discuss personal terms before the deal hit the skids.

Long has since played nine games for the Baggies and scored three goals, including a sublime double against Aston Villa in November. Talks on a new contract are ongoing but, with nothing signed, Long will be a target for a number of Premier League clubs from 1 January.

The struggling Baggies dismissed Steve Clarke earlier this month to add to the state of the flux that has the club in touching distance of the relegation zone. Caretaker boss Keith Downing told The Daily Star, on Monday, the club was confident of retaining Long’s services for the remainder of the season, and beyond.

Long received the WBA supporters’ award for player of the month earlier today and admitted that Clarke’s preference for playing a lone striker made chances up front a precious commodity.

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He said, “Over the last three or four weeks, especially, the fans have been getting right behind me. I think the two goals against Villa had something to do with that.” Long added:

You know, when you only play one up front it limits your playing time, so you know when you play you have to perform because there are people mad to get on. It’s a bit of a privilege to be playing every week and now we need results.

“We’ve slipped down the table but with all the games coming up it can change very quickly. The sooner it changes for us the better because it will take that pressure of ourselves and we can play a bit more freely on the pitch and pick up results more easily.”

Long will hope to feature up front for West Brom on Boxing Day as they take on Spurs at White Hart Lane.

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Patrick McCarry

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