Shane Long was a real bargain buy, says Ronald Koeman

Republic of Ireland striker Shane Long is a £12m (€14.8m) bargain according to the Southampton manager Ronald Koeman.

Long, who returns to action for Southampton against Newcastle United today and Koeman, who signed Long from Hull City in the summer of 2014, said: “He’s now showing the money we paid wasn’t too much for Shane Long.

“We always are analysing new players and why we’re interested in them. Of course, it’s also about money because everybody knows we can’t spend much more than £12m (€14.8m) for one player.

“He was an expensive player, I agree at that time, but I think we did our job very well. I think his technical capacity in one touch, in control, to understand the movements, he’s improving.

"That’s all about training. Maybe before Southampton he wasn’t used to that kind of training session, and that’s maybe the difference.

“Still players from that age, 26, 27, when they come to Southampton they can learn and improve themselves, and that’s good.

"Of course, he’s full of confidence, he’s showing that confidence, he’s scoring goals, he’s hassling defenders and that’s what we like to have in front. Shane is one of the long-term players if you talk about three or four years.

“We have Charlie (Austin) in and Jay Rodriguez. Graziano Pelle is different because his age is different.

“We like to have a good group of players that for the next couple of years are Southampton players to develop and make the team stronger.”

Meanwhile, Rafael Benitez has brushed off speculation linking him with the Spain job as he plots a long-term future at Newcastle.

The 55-year-old has been tipped as a potential replacement for Vicente del Bosque when he stands down after Euro 2016 but he says he is looking no further ahead than the fight to maintain the Magpies’ top-flight status and his continued presence in his current post.


The Leaving Cert points have been tallied, the CAO offers made, and now the hunt is on for student accommodation.Making Cents: Now, first-years must learn how to rent a room

A dermatologist gives their advice on what to do when your skin is suffering from post-partum hormones.How your skin can change post-pregnancy and what you can do about it

Sadly, the deceased Okjokull Glacier might just be the tip of the iceberg.As Iceland mourns a departed glacier – Five glaciers to visit before they disappear

Bride and groom Aoife O’Callaghan and Finbarr McCarthy returned to the scene of their first encounter — and first date — on their big day.Wedding of the week: Aoife and Finbarr's love is true Blue

More From The Irish Examiner