Shane Long: Southampton striker agrees new two-year deal

Long: "I love the way the club is run, I love what the club stands for and I'm excited about what the club will do over the next couple of years."

Shane Long celebrates doubling Southampton's lead
Image: Irish striker Shane Long will stay at St Mary's until the end of the 2021/22 season

Southampton forward Shane Long has agreed a new two-year contract extension at St Mary's.

The Republic of Ireland striker had been approaching the end of his existing deal this summer, but is now set to remain with Saints until the end of the 2021/22 season.

The 33-year-old, who joined Southampton in August 2014, has been an important part of Ralph Hasenhuttl's squad since the manager took the helm 18 months ago.

Ralph Hasenhuttl is disappointed with Southampton's home form this season
Image: Ralph Hasenhuttl is delighted to see Long sign a new deal at St Mary's

Hasenhuttl, who also signed a four-year extension this week, said: "He has been an important player for me and I know also for the managers before me.

"He has scored some big goals for us and helped to create many more for his team-mates too.

"I think that is one of his top qualities. He is a great team player, and someone who has a positive impact on the group as a whole when he plays.

"He is also a player who sets the right example for our youngsters to follow in how he conducts himself on and off the pitch, so this is good news for us that we will have him as part of the squad for another two years."

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Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl says signing a new four-year contract at Saints was 'the easiest decision' of his managerial career.

Long added: "I love the way the club is run, I love what the club stands for and I'm excited about what the club will do over the next couple of years.

"I can see the club pushing up the league, back to where we all want to be, and I want to be part of that. I'm just delighted to get it done."

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