New Delhi: Liverpool look set to complete their first signing of the summer by snapping up Rickie Lambert from Southampton. The signing fee is believed to be in the region of £4m plus add-ons.
Lambert is a part of Roy Hodgson`s England squad that will fly out to Miami on Sunday. Hence the Reds will be looking to complete the medical of the striker before he leaves. The 32-year-old Lambert was born in Liverpool and this move would be a dream come true for him.
A lot of Premier League clubs are interested in securing the services of Lambert but the forward is only willing to consider an offer from the Anfield outfit. However, Southampton have not accepted Liverpool`s offer for him and are looking for the right price before they release the striker.
It is a well known fact that Lambert has been a Liverpool fan since he was a kid. He has actually been a part of the youth set up of the club for five years. Liverpool let him go at the age of 15. Even to this day, he continues to support the reds.
Ever since he made the switch from Bristol Rovers to Southampton, the England international has been a revelation in the league. He has scored 117 goals in 235 appearances for the club so far.
By finishing eighth, Southampton recorded their best ever finish in Premier League history this season. This was mainly due to the performances of Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana, Luke Shaw and the tactical genius of head coach Mauricio Pochettino, all of whom have come into the spotlight. It is being widely reported that Lallana is in talks with Liverpool, Shaw with United and Pochettino has already left for Tottenham.
Southampton will have to re-build their squad if their key players depart as expected. Hence, they will be prepared to play the waiting game in order to extract the best possible price for their star players. On the other hand, Liverpool will be looking to sign Lambert before he heads to Brazil. If they leave it for after the World Cup and Lambert excels for England, Southampton`s asking price for him will shoot up.
It would be interesting to see what role Brendan Rodgers has envisaged for Lambert at Liverpool. It looks highly unlikely that he would make it into the playing eleven with Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge in the team. After the performance of the Liverpool duo this season, Lambert`s 14 goals in 39 games for the Saints, pales in comparison.
Liverpool have made it to the UEFA Champions League (UCL) for the first time since 2009. This also means they will be competing in four tournaments. Unlike the Europa league, the preparation for the Champions League is completely different mainly due to the quality of the teams. Depth in the squad is of prime importance to do well in the UCL.
Rodgers has maintained throughout the 2013-14 campaign that he would like to inject the squad with more options in the attack. With Lambert, they have have someone who offers them a unique option as compared to Suarez and Sturridge. After coming so close to winning the league title this year, Rodgers is looking to shore up things for the next campaign.
Lambert will offer Liverpool that option of an extra striker who will reduce the burden on Suarez. He can lead Liverpool`s attack in the FA Cup and League Cup, which would enable Suarez and Sturridge to remain fresh throughout a long campaign.
With Lambert, Rodgers has the option of a third striker who has proven his mettle in the Premier League. He can also be assured of a player who adores the club and will give his all for the team, manager and the fans every day of the week.