There’s been a lot of guffawing around Southampton’s decision to pay £12 million for Irish striker Shane Long, but boss Ronald Koeman looks and sounds very excited about the signing, making no mention of the price tag.
Koeman says he signed Long above all for his work ethic and professionalism, praising his attitiude as well as his personality, ‘he’s a good person’.
In terms of how the Saints strike force will line up, Koeman says ‘Long will be the running striker, and (Graziano) Pelle will be the target man’.
Southampton have also done a more crafty bit of business, signing Romanian defender Florin Gardos for £6m from Steaua Bucharest.
As Koeman says, ‘everyone knows the big names and big players, but it’s more difficult, and takes greater scouting work to find an unknown like Gardos’.
Gardos played with Vlad Chiricheș at Steaua, a fellow Romanian who came to the Premier League as a relative unknown and flourished in his debut season.