Ronald Koeman believes Shane Long and Graziano Pelle can play regularly in the same team and thrive for Saints.

The Saints boss has splashed out £20m on the two strikers this summer, but it seemed as though they would be fighting it out for a single spot in the side with one up front and three other players in deeper supporting roles.

That left a straight choice between the brute strength and physical force of Pelle and the clever counter attacking runs on the shoulder of the last defender of Long.

However, having watched them both closely, Koeman believes there is a way to fit them both into the same team.

“That’s possible,” he confirmed.

“They showed me already that it is possible.

“Still with more time and more automatics between the two players it can be better, of course it can be better.”

Pelle grabbed his first competitive Saints goal in the Capital One Cup tie with Millwall and is hoping that Long follows suit soon.

“Of course, but that is for every striker,” he said.

“They live from goals.

“OK, they are happy if the team is winning and maybe with their own performance, but finally the best feelings for strikers is scoring and it’s for everybody like that.

“In the second half against Millwall Long was good.

“We played a little bit different in the first half where he played a little bit more behind Pelle, and in the second half he played a little bit more on the right side.

“We need that kind of player because they bring a lot of spirit to the team.

“He’s a player who tries to make runs in space in behind the defenders and that’s good. We need that because a lot of players in our team like to have the ball and like to go back for touching ball.

“He’s different and you need both in the forwards and he brings in what we need.”

Koeman is also confident that £12m man Long can hit double figures in this Premier League season.

“Yes, because we are happy we have Shane in our squad,” he commented. “We paid that amount for him because we believe in the qualities of that player.”