30 May 2014

Done Deal? £10m star Gerrard hailed as 'fantastic' to have LFC medical on Saturday

Liverpool are reportedly on the verge of signing veteran Southampton striker Rickie Lambert, with the deal due to be sealed at some point over the weekend.

According to Sky Sports today:

"Liverpool have made an offer of between £8m and £10m to Southampton for striker Rickie Lambert"

* Other sources (including the BBC, The Guardian, and The Telegraph) put the proposed fee at £4m, with add-ons.

* The BBC further claims that the striker is due to have a medical on Saturday.

Lambert - recently described by Steven Gerrard as 'fantastic' - is a self-confessed Reds fan, and after scoring against LFC in last season's 3-1 defeat at St. Mary's, he enthused:

"I think everybody knows the relationship I have with Liverpool. It was a massive game and my family were there, but obviously I am professional and my main focus was to try and get three points".

If things had gone differently earlier in his career, Lambert could've ended up at Anfield years ago. In a press conference last year, Lambert - who spent five years as a youth player at Anfield - told reporters:

"I was at Liverpool from age 10 to 15 and I was basically told I wasn’t good enough, which obviously was a hard thing to take at the time. I thought it was the end of the world."

Looking at the timeline, Lambert would've been 15 in 1997, which means he probably got the bad news from Steve Heighway - who ran LFC's Academy at the time - or Roy Evans, Liverpool's manager in the mid-1990s.

It's hardly surprising that Lambert didn't make it, though. Look at the competition he faced: Michael Owen broke through into the first team in 1997, and Robbie Fowler was already well-established (!)

As for the deal itself: I personally think Lambert is a superb signing. As I've argued all season, if Liverpool are going to sign another striker, it should be one of the following:

* An experienced, elder statesman in the twilight of his career.
* A young, hungry, inexperienced striker with great potential.

Lambert clearly fits the bill. Additionally, LFC's third striker needs to be someone who:

* Won't expect to play every game.
* Will be happy to play second-fiddle to Suarez and Sturridge.
* is good enough to make an impact when called-upon.

Again, Lambert fits the bill; and as an added bonus, he is a totally different type of player to SAS, and he has the strength, work-rate, and goalscoring ability to be a real asset for the club. There will inevitably be comparisons with Andy Carroll, and Lambert will probably be accused of being a typical English target man, but he's so much more than that.

During his time at Bristol Rovers, I watched Lambert live many times (I live in Bristol; and someone has to watch Rovers play!), and he has great touch, some decent skill, and great finishing. Plus, he's strong as an ox, and an imposing, vocal presence on the field.

I'd be surprised if FSG sanctioned £8m-£10m for a 32-year old striker with minimal sell-on potential, but looking at Lambert's Premier League record, he's arguably worth near that amount:

* 29 goals/15 assists in 75 Prem games.
* Goal every 2.5 games.
* Goal/Assist every 1.7 games.

Not bad for a 32-year old. Granted, some of his goals are penalties, but the same applies to Steven Gerrard's goal tally. £4m is possibly a more palatable transfer fee, though, and I'm sure it will probably end up being in that ball-park.

The best thing about this deal is the fairytale aspect. As a lifelong Reds fan, Lambert - who appears to be a humble, down-to-earth fella - will get to achieve his long-held dream of playing for Liverpool, and any fan who's ever held the same dream (however unrealistic) will identify with Lambert, and probably live vicariously through him next season.



  1. Ok 8-10 mil no way stupid amount to pay for 33 Year old
    Good player yer but where to you Get your Figures Jamie????

  2. He'll bring a great attitude to the club. I think of him a bit like Bellamy but with less crazy. He'll definitely have an impact off the bench and I see him starting quite a few games. We need to make sure our two main strikers are not over-worked and that means giving both of them an occasional rest, even when they might want to play. I would have expected Borini or Aspas to fill that role but one of them will almost certainly leave the club now. A loan for Aspas to a club that needs him would see him score 10-12 goals in the season and retain some of the value he had when we bought him.

    Lambert had 10 assists for last season, that's significant. I think he enjoys being part of a good attacking unit and so he'll thrive with the guys we've got. If we add Lallana to the team it will just be an added bonus that they already have a working relationship. He'll score goals, create for others and work hard for the team. That's exactly what Rodgers wants.

    So long as the money is as per the BBC and not higher then it's a brilliant signing. Of course if Southampton want to structure the deal so that we pay more cash for Lambert and less for Lallana then that's OK too, but it's a bit of a shifty thing to do and not really in the Liverpool spirit.

  3. I can see the logic behind this.. another option up front, a 'plan B'..
    but just wondering if there are younger players of his mould.. Bony was
    rumoured.. Demba Ba worth shout? But whats certain is that he'll want to
    wear the shirt and perform.. Just hope it's not another Robbie Keane..
    Die hard fan who couldn't perform