Liverpool close to signing Rickie Lambert
According to the Daily Mail, Liverpool is close to completing the signing of Southampton striker Rickie Lambert for a fee of around £4million, plus add-ons depending on appearances.
This deal seems to have come out of the blue, pardon the pun Reds fans!
The 32-year-old striker must be thinking that he is dreaming at the moment. First he won a place in England’s squad for the World Cup and now it looks like he could be set for a move to his boyhood heroes.
I do not think Lambert could have imagined this would have happened to his career when he was plying his trade in the lower leagues and famously working in a beetroot factory in 2000 after being released by Blackpool.
Lambert has become a hero on the south coast since joining Southampton in 2009, but the chance to play for his boyhood club may prove too tempting to turn down.
The Reds has a long season ahead of them with Champions League football to come and are in need of depth in their squad. Lambert would add depth to the squad, even if he would only be back-up to first choice strikers Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez.
With the futures of fellow strikers Iago Aspas and Fabio Borini in doubt, the Reds are particular in need of an extra striker. Lambert would be a very good option to have in their attacking armoury.
Lambert will offer the Reds a different dimension to the strikers they already have. Lambert is a very clever football with the ball at his feet and is technically gifted. However, he also offers a physical presence that first choice duo Suarez and Sturridge lack.
Both may be decent in the air, but neither of them can play the role of hold up man. Lambert can play that role for Reds in attack. Alternatives and plan b’s is not a bad thing to have, especially when competing in the Champions League.
There’s been so much talk of a mass exodus this summer from Southampton, with half of the Saints team linked with moves elsewhere. I doubt many Saints thought that their talismanic striker would be the first to leave.
However, it is starting to look that way. Lambert has been one of the main reasons that the team from the south coast are where they are now. He scored the goals that got them promoted from League One and the Championship.
Lambert’s goal scoring record of 117 goals in 235 appearances is pretty impressive, even if the majority of those goals were scored in the lower leagues for the Saints.
His scoring rate has slowed slightly in the top-flight, but that has to be expected against far better defenders. Lambert is one of the team’s leaders and a player that leads the Saints attacking line, scoring 13 top-flight goals and getting 1o assists last season.
I am not sure how Saints fans will feel losing their main striker for a fee that could be just £4million, despite the fact he is 32-years-old.
Regardless of his age Rickie Lambert is still a vital member of the Southampton team. I just hope for the Saints sake that he is not the first in a long line of player exits from St. Marys this summer. They have made fine progress in recent years and that could be spoilt by player departures this summer.
When I first heard about this deal I was not sure what to make off it. However, when I considered it in slightly more detail it makes sense for Liverpool, even if it does not for Southampton. Reds boss Brendan Rodgers needs another striker, who can scored goals and give the Reds a plan b.
Lambert ticks those boxes and he will also give everything for the shirt, as he is a lifelong Reds fan, so there is an extra incentive there. The prospective fee of £4million is not much for a now proven Premier League performer.
Some Liverpool fans seem to be sceptical about this deal because of his age, or because they were looking for a high-profile signing this summer. However, it is not always the high-profile signings that win you trophies.
Rickie Lambert is an intelligent striker, who scores goals and offers a physical presence. The first choice strikers are obviously established, but the Reds need a third striker and if I was offered the choice between Rickie Lambert and Iago Aspas, I know which one I would choose.
Will Rickie Lambert be a good signing for Liverpool?