Long is vital to West Brom, states boss Clarke

West Brom boss Steve Clarke believes striker Shane Long can play an important role for the club after Monday's 2-2 draw with Aston Villa.

Long, who almost left the club for Hull City on transfer deadline day, scored a well-taken brace at The Hawthorns on Monday to put his side two goals ahead, before Karim El Ahmadi and Ashley Westwood struck for the visitors. 

While Villa hit back to take a point, Clarke was delighted with Long's performance and feels the striker's contract situation will soon be finalised, with Long having just nine months left on his current deal. 

Albion do however have an option to keep him for a further 12 months. 

"Shane's performance at Chelsea everyone spoke about – he did really well," Clarke said.

"He got another goal when he was away with the Republic and he showed tonight (Monday) when he's on his top level he is a force to be reckoned with.

"I've said all along Shane would have a big part to play for us this season and he’s proving that on the pitch – and that's all he can do.

"I'm sure the club will sit down sometime in the future and sort his contract out.

"It's not my department, as I've said many times."

The draw ensures West Brom keep up their impressive recent form, having lost only one of their last nine top-flight matches, although five of these have been draws. 


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