Ronald Koeman has highlighted Shane Long’s development as the reason behind picking him as his standout player of the season.
While admitting it’s always difficult to pick an individual, especially given the team’s remarkable campaign in which they recorded their highest Premier League finish ever, Koeman felt Long deserved the plaudits.
The striker broke into the team on a regular basis just before Christmas, and proved to be a key cog in the side as Koeman’s men enjoyed a stunning second half of the campaign.
For Koeman, Long’s progress was a key reason behind picking him out as the Saints player he was most pleased with over the course of the season.
“It’s always difficult because on one side I don’t like to talk about one player, because everybody did a fantastic job this season,” Koeman told youtube.com/southamptonfc.
“But maybe if I mention one player, that’s about how the player is developing in every aspect of football, then it’s Shane Long.
“That’s because when he came to Southampton he had a little bit of trouble adapting, maybe to the way how we play and the way how we do the training sessions.
“If I look at Shane now compared to when he came, it’s a big, big compliment to all the people in Southampton and him because he has improved a lot.
“He showed he can be one of the important players for the team.”