The Sun has suggested West Ham will go after Rickie Lambert this summer, who could turn out to be a fantastic signing for the club.
West Ham have indicated Andy Carroll will go back to Liverpool at the end of the season when his loan deal expires. That means there will be a hole in the West Ham defence which needs to be filled ahead of next season.
The most obvious positive that he brings to the table is the fact that West Ham wouldn’t have to change their attacking style too much. He’s a very similar striker to Carlton Cole and Carroll which means Sam Allardyce doesn’t have to make huge changes to his formations and tactics.
In terms of the strikers at the Saints, Lambert is deceptively good when it comes to build up play. He’s at his best pinning an opposition defence back into their own defensive third but he has it in him to drop into midfield to link up with other creative players.
His strike rate is better than the current strikers at West Ham. He has a one goal for every two games record this season, which shows he’s an efficient and proven goalscorer who can bang in goals at Premier League level.
He has a very complete all round game for a striker; he’s good in the air, he’s good on the ground and he can get involved in various set piece situations with good accuracy when he has a direct shot or good crossing ability with indirect free kicks.
He would also substantially improve the work ethic of the West Ham attack. He’s the sort of striker who demands everyone else around him to be putting in the same levels of effort.
Whether he’s a new boy or not, he will have a go at anyone pulling their weight which is something West Ham could use a little more of.
There’s also no harm in West Ham having another leader in the side, not just in the attack but in the team in general. That will take some of the pressure away from Kevin Nolan and will make him a more popular and approachable player.
His contract with Southampton expires in the summer of 2014, which means West Ham would have to pay a fee but it should be well within their price range.
Hammers fans, is he a good potential signing?
image: © Matthew Black