Shane Long, does not always fill-up the score-sheet and can go stretches without scoring but he continues to start because he does all the dirty work.
The Irishman, is in his 7th season with Southampton but ever since the 15/16 season the goals have seemingly dried up with only 12 goals for the club since that season.
He has caught a lot of slack from supporters (myself included) for his lack of scoring over the seasons but he has flipped the script and people are realizing just how much of an impact he has on the squad.
He runs like a man possessed for every 50/50 ball, jumps superbly on corners and long balls to win it, and just creates a headache for opposing defenses. His willingness to run allows Danny Ings to work off of him and find space to create his goals.
This season really exemplified how he can be a positive to the team even if he is not consistently finding the back of the net. And when he does find the back of the net it just makes it that much more sweet.
So far this season Long has 2 goals and 2 assists, but as I said previously you cannot let those numbers tell the full story. His key passes per match and shots per match are at their highest since his 15/16 season.
So not only is he helping himself he is helping his teammates more and more and that is due to both his work rate and Hasenhuttl’s tactics that allow him to thrive without scoring double digit goals.
All stats according to WhoScored.com