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    Long ends eight-year Saints stay

    Southampton Football Club can confirm Shane Long has left St Mary’s at the conclusion of his contract.

    The Irishman spent eight years as a Saint, making a significant contribution to the club’s recent history.

    In total, the 35-year-old made 245 appearances in all competitions, including 198 in the Premier League.

    Signed from Hull in 2014, Long helped Saints to three consecutive top-eight finishes, scoring 13 goals in the 2015/16 campaign as the club recorded its highest league position in the top flight in more than 30 years, finishing sixth and qualifying for the Europa League.

    Saints memorably signed off at St Mary’s with a 6-1 victory over Aston Villa in the final home game of the season, in which Long had a hand in all three of Sadio Mané’s goals as the Senegalese struck a record-breaking hat-trick, before Long scored twice himself, including a spectacular 35-yard curling shot over international teammate Shay Given.

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    The following year saw the striker score surely the most fondly-remembered of his 37 goals for the club, coming off the bench to hammer home a stoppage-time winner at Anfield as Saints booked their place in the EFL Cup final at Wembley.

    In April 2019, Long wrote his name into the Premier League history books by scoring the competition’s fastest-ever goal, taking just 7.69 seconds to break the deadlock against Watford. His form in the run-in was integral to Saints maintaining their Premier League status that season.

    Whilst his playing time was reduced in recent years, he remained an influential figure in the dressing room and a role model in professionalism for many young players graduating from the Academy, as well as those joining Saints from other clubs.

    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.


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