World Cup winner: Carroll? I'm a real fan of Southampton striker...

Rickie Lambert

World Cup winner Sir Geoff Hurst says Andy Carroll will be "on the agenda" this summer but prefers Southampton striker Rickie Lambert.

The likes of Wayne Rooney and Daniel Sturridge are expected to make Roy Hodgson's England squad for this summer's World Cup in Brazil, though there appears to be one last place in the Three Lions squad up for grabs for a striker.

Two strong candidates are widely accepted: West Ham forward Carroll and Saints marksman Lambert.

And Hurst, who won England's only World Cup trophy in 1966, admires both - but admits he is a "real fan" of Lambert.

On the subject of Carroll, Hurst is quoted as saying by the Daily Telegraph: “It’s not been a great season for him.

"But there are enough games for Carroll to prove he should be in the squad. If he can keep West Ham comfortably in mid-table, he will be on the agenda, without a shadow of a doubt.”

On 32-year-old Lambert, however, Hurst was brimming with praise, lauding the Southampton man for reaching the top in a rather old-fashioned success story.

“He was 18 and still working in a factory. Bit like the old days, really," Hurst continued.

"What I like about him is his background. I’m a real fan of people who have come through the system, and managed to reach the top, and he has been a hugely successful player for Southampton."

StrikerGoalsHeaded Shots Per GameAerial Duels Won Per GameAssists Per GameApps
Rickie Lambert 8 0.04 1.81 0.26 27
Andy Carroll 0 0 6.00 0.60 5

A quick look at the duo's Opta stats this season shows that there is little to choose between them.

Indeed, although Lambert has eight goals to Carroll's none, the 32-year-old has played 22 games more, making the fact that Carroll already has three assists this term very impressive.

The Hammers striker also outshines Lambert in terms of the amount of aerial duels he has won, although Lambert averages more headers at goal per game than Carroll.

It should prove a fascinating contest in the lead-up to England's World Cup campaign.

image: © dom fellowes

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