Why signing Rickie Lambert is a good move from Liverpool

Lambert is close to returning to Merseyside.

Southampton striker Rickie Lambert is due to complete a fairytale move to boyhood club Liverpool this weekend for £4m.

Some may see the signing of the 32-year-old as an odd move by Brendan Rodgers but there are many positives to this move that it makes sense for Liverpool to sign the player they let go as a 15-year-old.

For a start, no striker should be arriving at the club in the same mould as Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez. Liverpool have their established front duo and there is no need to change them, but what Liverpool do need is a different type of player to call upon up front – one that will be happy to rotate with the Reds back in the Champions League as the side will need freshening up every now and then.

Rodgers said he needed to strengthen in all areas, and with Fabio Borini returning from his loan spell at Sunderland, four frontline forwards going into the next campaign means that one area of the field should be taken care of.

The Liverpool boss has also spoken highly of Lambert, people have often referred to him as the big man up front, but Lambert’s technical ability can allow him to slot into the side easily.

Rodgers said ahead of a game with Southampton last September: 

“He’s probably never got the recognition for what a really good footballer he is. He is probably seen as a traditional big number nine, a typical British striker, but he’s one of the most accomplished footballers I’ve seen.

“Look at his touch and the different types of goals he scores, he is a terrific player.

There is also the reference that Rodgers makes when he is looking for players to play for the club. He wants players that will be hungry to do better, to win things. Lambert has had to be hungry and determined throughout his career, otherwise he wouldn’t have climbed the league ladder. Add in the factor that this is the club he supported as a boy, there are going to be very few players giving more than him to prove that he is hungry to succeed.

Also, there is the case that Liverpool would have another option off the bench. For as much as Liverpool’s leaky defence was identified as a glaring weak point last season, what was also missing were players who could come off the bench and change the game. One only needs to look to the defeat to Chelsea late on in the season and there was very little impact the manager could make from the bench.

There is also his goal return during his two Premier League campaigns. 15 goals in Southampton’s return to the top flight, followed by 13 in the season that has just passed. He is a player that is low-risk, and has experience of scoring goals. For £4m, it could prove to be one of the shrewdest signings this summer.

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