Premier League - Long important for Baggies - Clarke

West Brom boss Steve Clarke will sit down with Shane Long this week to emphasise the striker's importance to the club despite their willingness to sell him on transfer deadline day.

PA Sport

The Republic of Ireland international was on the verge of a move to Hull last Monday as Albion were busily acquiring Victor Anichebe and Stephane Sessegnon.

According to West Brom, the move collapsed when Hull were unable to stand by their original offer for the player, leaving Long in limbo and still at The Hawthorns.

Both Clarke and the club have been keen to make it clear that Long was not surplus to requirements and that the proposed deal simply made good business sense - and that the 26-year-old still has a big future at West Brom.

"Shane Long is a very, very important member of our squad," said the Baggies head coach.

"I've always said that. I said it all through last season and ever since I came in. He's here, and I'm delighted he's here.

"I spoke to him on deadline day but I haven't spoken to him since because he's been with his country and out of respect for them he has to concentrate and do what he has to do for Ireland.

"He'll come back from there and we will sit down to have a chat and work out how we go forward from here.

"Shane has got a big contribution to make this season."

The general consensus is that Long is savvy enough to remain professional rather than taking the saga personally.

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