Shane Long commits his future to Southampton after signing contract extension

The new deal will keep him at the club until 2020

Shane Long

Image: Paul Harding / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Republic of Ireland striker Shane Long has committed his future to Southampton, with news that the 29-year-old has signed a four year extension with the club.

Long, who made the move to St Mary’s in the summer of 2014, made 39 appearances and scored eight goals during his first season with the club.

He established himself as a regular starter during his second year, scoring 13 goals in 34 appearances. Long also played a key role in Ireland's European Championships campaign in France, involved in the victory over Italy before being knocked out against finalists France.

"I'm delighted," he said. "I'm excited to be part of what could be a big future in the next four years for this club.

"I love it here, the set-up, the training ground, the lads as well – everyone around the club. It's a real family feel, and I feel like I'm a big part of that and I feel like I'm playing my best football here as well.

"I've enjoyed every minute down here. I'm happy, my family are happy, and it's a good place to be."

The Saints have already lost manager Ronald Koeman and striker Sadio Mane this summer and Executive Director of Football Les Reed wants to ensure the club's important figures stay with the club.

"Shane has been an important asset to the team ever since his arrival at the club in 2014, and he was an influential part of our record-breaking Premier League campaign last season," he said.

"His experience and character also make him an extremely valuable member of the squad off the pitch, as well as on it, and I am delighted we have strengthened our commitment with him.

"Shane is the latest in a significant number of first-team players to have signed new contracts with the club in recent weeks and months, indicating the players' belief that there is more to come, while further strengthening the core of our squad as we move into what promises to be another memorable campaign.

"Shane is one of many exciting attacking options that we have at our disposal, and he will no doubt play an important part in the season and the years ahead.”