Long targets top-10 finish

  • Last Updated: August 14 2014, 18:56 BST

Shane Long wants to help Southampton repeat last season's success after joining Ronald Koeman's new-look squad.

Shane Long: £12million move to Southampton
Shane Long: £12million move to Southampton

Saints enjoyed an impressive 2013-14 as they finished eighth in the Barclays Premier League table but the departure of former boss Mauricio Pochettino and several key players has some tipping them for relegation this time around.

However, the arrival of Long on Thursday, along with Steaua Bucharest centre-back Florin Gardos, has taken Koeman's number of summer recruits to seven as he replaces first-team players Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren, Luke Shaw, Calum Chambers and Dani Osvaldo.

And Long, who joins from Hull on a four-year deal for a fee that Press Association Sport understands could rise to £12million, is still aiming for a top-10 finish despite the upheaval at St Mary's.

"I'm delighted," he told the club's official website. "This came out of the blue for me but, once I'd come and had a look at the training facilities and met the manager, it seemed like the right decision for me and my family.

"It was a hard decision for me to make, but when you come down to Southampton you see how big a club it is and how well set up it is.

"You look at how well they did last season and they are developing a new squad for this year to try and achieve those accomplishments again, and hopefully I can be a big part of that."Long and fellow summer recruit Graziano Pelle are likely to lead the line when Southampton begin their Premier League campaign against Liverpool on Sunday and Koeman is delighted to have recruited the 27-year-old Republic of Ireland international.

"Shane is a very good player. As a striker, he's different to Graziano Pelle, which is something we needed," he said.

"He brings ambition and a great mentality. He's always running and always working, and he's very down to earth. He's a great person, and we need that type of player.

"He brings a lot of experience to our squad because he's already played at Premier League level for a few years. He knows what we need at this level, and he can show that to our younger players as well.

"Shane will be an important player for us and our future."

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Long and Gardos join Pelle, winger Dusan Tadic, goalkeeper Fraser Forster, full-back Ryan Bertrand and midfielder Saphir Taider in joining the club as Koeman engineers his first-team rebuild.

Jay Rodriguez and Morgan Schneiderlin are both still heavily tipped to leave before the end of the transfer window but the new additions will be welcome news to the Saints faithful after a fraught few months.

Gardos joins Saints on a four-year deal for a fee believed to be £6million and Koeman believes the 25-year-old will only improve as he fills the gap left by Lovren.

"I am very happy to have Florin here," he said.

"He's still a young player so he can develop himself a lot more, and that's part of the ambition of Southampton.

"From the beginning, after Lovren left the club, we paid a lot of attention to Florin.

"Everybody knows the big names and the big players, but it's always more difficult to find one who's not so well known. The information the club has given to me about him has been very good.

"For now and for the future, we have a very good central defender."