Given that Jay Rodriguez turned in perhaps his best performance of the season as Southampton beat Liverpool 3-1 a few weeks ago, it is perhaps not surprising that Brendan Rodgers has taken a shine to the 23 year old forward, with rumours now abounding that Liverpool could make a bid at the end of the season despite Rodriguez only joining Southampton last summer.
So far there has been no indication that Southampton or Rodriguez would be open to a move, and the player surely recognises that having finally started to make good on his abundant potential this season at Southampton, it would likely be a step backwards for his development to leave St Mary's.
Rodriguez never quite managed to really hit the heights he seemed capable of at Burnley, but the talent he clearly had was enough for Southampton to invest £7million in him. This show of faith has been continued throughout the season under both Nigel Adkins and Mauro Pochettino, as even when he has had a poor game, Rodriguez has usually been back in the starting eleven for the next match.
This has reaped dividends for Southampton as Rodriguez has recently struck important goals in the wins over Liverpool and Chelsea, and his fine end of season form could be a springboard for him to impress even further next season.
This would be jeopardised hugely if he moved this summer, especially to a Liverpool side where he would have no guarantee of a starting place, and who might be adjusting their attack to cope with losing Luis Suarez.
Southampton look increasingly sure of their place in the Premier League next season, and have a batch of excellent young English players (and indeed old ones Mr Lambert). Rodriguez is a settled and important part of their side, and he will surely play his best football, and have the best chance of fulfilling his potential, at St Marys rather than anywhere else.
image: © adam.haworth