Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy has expressed his disappointment regarding Shane Long’s injury ahead of their UEFA European Championship qualifying match against Denmark on Friday.
The player is believed to have picked up a hamstring injury while training with his international side.
Towards the end of the season, the 32-year-old fired Southampton away from relegation with four goals in his last seven games.
Ahead of the qualifiers, McCarthy is confident they will be able to overcome Denmark despite missing the Saints forward. Speaking at the Republic of Ireland’s new kit launch, via RTE, McCarthy said:
It’s a disappointment, but I hope it doesn’t turn out to be a blow.
I’m hoping that we have other strikers who can do the business, but it’s a huge blow for him as he recovered from the last time and picked up this injury.
I’m really disappointed for him, but he has to get back and hopefully he can get right for the next games.
I’m not bringing anyone else in. I’ve got five or six strikers in, so we have plenty of ammunition.
Though Long has to face recovering from another injury, it seems the experienced manager is hopeful of a swift return for the forward and that nothing is too serious.
Southampton will go into the 2019/20 Premier League campaign in search of an improvement on their 16th-place finish during the last term, landing five points above the relegation zone.
Long will be looking to find his feet during the Republic of Ireland’s qualifying campaign in order to fight for a position in Ralph Hasenhuttl’s starting line-up come the Saints’ first game in the next season.
Other strikers who Southampton could look to pursue this summer
Seferovic was excellent for Benfica last season and would improve Southampton’s attacking options.
Adams is surely set for a Premier League move this summer, and Southampton would be the ideal destination for the young forward.
Petagna was superb on loan at Spal from Atalanta last season. The young Italian would add something different to the options currently at Hasenhuttl’s disposal.
Augustin worked with Hasenhuttl at RB Leipzig. The young Frenchman could be a good suit for his plans at Southampton.