Can Shane Long Lead The Line At West Brom?

After a deadline day move to Hull fell through, Shane Long has one hell of a job on at the Hawthorns.

The 26-year-old looked to set leave West Brom in a £5 million deal, only for Baggies manager Steve Clarke to pull the plug on the transfer over concerns his side lacked attacking options.  The possibility of re-signing 20-year-old Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku on loan disappeared in the final stages of the transfer window as he opted to join Everton for the season.  After scoring 17 goals last campaign, the 6ft 3in Belgian leaves big shoes to fill.

With Peter Odemwingie finally getting his wish to leave the club, Long is now the longest-serving striker at West Brom.  Baggies fans will hope new arrivals Stephane Sessegnon and Victor Anichebe can settle quickly to help provide a boost to their new-look frontline.  Benin international Sessegnon has played an integral part to Sunderland’s attacking play over the last couple of seasons, whilst 25-year-old forward Anichebe is coming off his most consistent season for Everton.

Long has found the net eight times in each of his last two Premier League campaigns, but prior to that scored an impressive 23 goals in 45 games in his final Championship season with Reading.  That scoring record of better than a goal every other game prompted West Brom to pay what was reported to be a club record fee for the Republic of Ireland international.

Now with a fight on his hands to retain his place in the starting lineup, can Long replicate that sort of form in the top flight?