Ralph Hasenhüttl has finally been confirmed as the new Southampton manager and he will start work with his new squad after tonight’s trip to Wembley to face Tottenham.
With the January transfer window on the horizon, the Austrian’s attention will swiftly turn to how he can mould the Saints’ struggling side into a group fit to survive relegation.
Recently, there have been rumours that Shane Long would not be part of that group after the winter window with high-flying Championship side Sheffield United looking to sign the Republic of Ireland international.
But Hasenhüttl will look to introduce the same high-tempo style of football that brought so much success to RB Leizpig at St Mary’s and that should offer Long a reprieve.
Long is not prolific in front of goal but his selflessness and constant running make him an ideal fit for his new manager’s ideas.
He can play wide on either flank or centrally and if Hasenhüttl wants a forward who will work tirelessly to carry out his high-pressing style, Long is the right man.
The likes of Manolo Gabbiadini and Charlie Austin are better finishers but employ a more languid style, so it will be interesting to see how they fit into the plans of their new boss.