Long made history on Tuesday when he scored the fastest goal in Premier League history, lofting a finish over the stranded Ben Foster to give The Saints a lead against Watford after just seven seconds at Vicarage Road.
That was the Irishman’s third goal in four Premier League matches – as many as he had managed in his previous 45 games for club and country in all competitions.
Long’s current deal is due to expire in 2020 and the former Reading and Hull striker believes that he needs to maintain his current form to stand a chance of earning an extended stay at the South Coast club.
“I have only got a year left on my contract and I don’t think I’ve earned the right to go knocking on the door and asking for more years,” said the 32-year-old, who Southampton signed for £12 million in 2014 (BBC).
“As a striker you need goals and I am trying to put my case forward between now and the end of the season. It’s hard to validate giving a new deal out if you aren’t getting the goals or the results on the pitch.”
If Long can maintain his best run of goals in a number of seasons, however, Southampton should seriously think about offering him what could be the forward’s last big contract of his career at the top level.
According to the Sun (23 April, page 53), Saints coach Ralph Hasenhuttl has told fellow striker Charlie Austin to find a new club this summer.
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