Why Rickie Lambert could be the most likely Liverpool striker to stay out of unfancied trio

Lambert hasn't started much this season, but showed something other strikers didn't during the win over QPR at the weekend.

Liverpool striker Rickie Lambert may not have had the game time he would have wanted this season following a dream move back to his boyhood club - nor will he have expected to be linked with Chelsea by the Daily Mirror this morning.

At the weekend he got a rare start for the Reds, and played a significant role in the 2-1 win over Queens Park Rangers, as he provided the final ball for Philippe Coutinho to give the Reds a first-half lead.

What the Reds have lacked this season is goals. Taking into account the absence of Daniel Sturridge for long periods through his numerous injury problems, Brendan Rodgers hasn't had much faith in his strikers.

But Liverpool look a better team going forward with Lambert in the side, rather than either of Mario Balotelli or Fabio Borini.

At times when either Italian has been in the team, the movement at the top end of the field for Liverpool has looked static and there has been very little penetration as the Reds have struggled to get in and behind opposition defences.

The Liverpool side that featured at Anfield on Saturday had far more about it as an attacking force. Sure, it still lacks that cutting edge, but there were more clear-cut chances created - in part down to Lambert.

He was always occupying space and pulling defenders out of position to create room for the likes of Coutinho, Adam Lallana and Raheem Sterling to shine in.

Furthermore, there is the option for Liverpool to turn defence into attack pretty swiftly as Lambert can actually hold the ball up effectively - he is certainly a different option that has been underused.

A lot has been said about Lambert being a rhythm player which begs the question: would he get enough game time next season if he were to stay at Anfield?

The Reds are likely to be in Europa League action next season, which will inevitably mean changes to the starting XI, so Lambert could well get his chance to perform there, as well as in cup competitions.

Liverpool are on the lookout for a new striker, it seems, but if they can afford to give Lambert a decent amount of game time from the start next season, it may be worth keeping hold of him this summer.

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch