Shane Long is a decent Premier League striker who is quick, busy, good in the air, and full of effort. Arsenal recently tasted the damage Long can inflict when his finishing matches his willingness to work diligently and move into space. The striker has enjoyed a run of four starts for Southampton in the Premier League and has lasted until the final whistle. During this four-game spell, the Republic of Ireland international has scored three league goals to help his struggling side to two victories.
This burst of fine form—regular starts might have helped Long find some consistency—has prompted talk of a January move to Liverpool or Tottenham Hotspur. The North London outfit needs another striker to fill in when Harry Kane is unavailable or needs a break, which is quite useful when making a credible push for a place in the top four. Liverpool, meanwhile, may need a fit and available striker who can "fucking run around a bit" as Harry Redknapp once told Roman Pavlyuchenko to do. Why wouldn't they make an offer for a seemingly good egg who should be around his peak and eager for a chance at a bigger club?
The Metro cited the Irish Independent that subsequently sourced the rumour from the Irish Daily Star. A January move to Liverpool or Tottenham is on the cards apparently. Both reports mention energy, pressing, and intensity that are all highly valued in the tactical approaches of both Jürgen Klopp and Mauricio Pochettino. Liverpool have Danny Ings, Divock Origi, and Daniel Sturridge out injured. Christian Benteke is a goalscorer but struggles to match Klopp's demands in a way that Roberto Firmino can. Manchester City and Arsenal are likely to battle for the league title this season, but Firmino was a bit too spicy for defenders to digest.
The 28-year-old was signed for £12 million in August 2014 and has largely served as backup to Graziano Pellè, so maybe the chance to be a squad player at a bigger club would be more appealing. Pellè hasn't scored for Southampton since the first day of November but will be determined to return to playing and scoring regularly now that he's available for selection. A knee injury hasn't helped the Italian striker either, but Long now has an opportunity to prove that the Saints can rely on him as the club's chief source of goals.
Long will turn 29 later this month, has already featured in domestic cup competitions and the Europa League play-off rounds, and plays for a club that has sold extremely well in recent years. There could be sense in moving to Spurs, because he provides physicality, movement, and perspiration to fill in for Kane when needed. He'd be clearly second-choice with the likes of Son Heung-min, Nacer Chadli, Christian Eriksen, and Erik Lamela in support. Pochettino strongly favours team players and would appreciate having an extra option in attack. Being available for league action only might not be quite what Pochettino is looking for.
As for Liverpool, if just one striker returns to fitness would obviate the need for Long. Danny Ings may be out for the rest of the season but represents a similar and younger model. The short-term and long-term considerations just aren't compelling enough for whatever his inflated asking price would be. He's not quite good enough in terms of quality and goalscoring consistency, but the same was attributed Danny Ings. File this rumour under "like your style but good luck with your endeavours elsewhere" before pining for tastier transfer tidbits.