Goal drought over - could Southampton's £12m summer signing partner Pelle?

Shane Long

Shane Long finally ended his Southampton goal drought - should Ronald Koeman start him with Graziano Pelle?

Southampton may have suffered a tough summer with the departure of manager Mauricio Pochettino and the sales of Calum Chambers, Dejan Lovren, Luke Shaw, Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert, but they have shown no ill-effects so far.

New manager Ronald Koeman has overseen a stunning start to the season, with the Saints claiming six wins and one draw from their opening nine league games, leaving them second in the table behind leaders Chelsea.

New signings such as Fraser Forster, Toby Alderweireld, Ryan Bertrand, Dusan Tadic and particularly Graziano Pelle have impressed, but one new signing hasn't quite hit the ground running.

With Lambert sold to Liverpool and Jay Rodriguez out injured, it was crucial that Koeman brought in another striker, yet it was a huge shock when he decided to splash out £12m on Hull City's Shane Long.

After scoring just four Premier League goals for Hull, Long had flattered to deceive last season, and the Tigers were never going to reject £12m for him given that they'd paid £6m for him only just months earlier.

It was then no surprise when Long failed to score in his first ten games for Southampton, with Koeman preferring to use Pelle up front on his own instead.

Yet in Wednesday's 3-2 Capital One Cup win over Stoke City, Long finally opened his account for the Saints, and now may be the perfect time to unleash him alongside Pelle - Southampton face a trip to his former club Hull on Saturday.

The pace and energy of Long alongside the power of Pelle could be ideal for Southampton, but it would involve dropping someone from a midfield which has been so impressive to date, and that leaves Koeman with a big decision to make this weekend.

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