Why Rickie Lambert would be a good signing for Liverpool
Liverpool are very close to signing Rickie Lambert from Southampton for a reported fee of 4 million pounds and add ons as per media reports. In recent weeks, Liverpool have been reported to have made bids for Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren, Emre Can and Alberto Moreno. But it seems like Rickie Lambert could turn out to be Liverpool’s first signing of the season.
Rickie Lambert has been a boyhood Liverpool fan. Before joining Southampton in 2009, Lambert has played for five different clubs in the lower divisions in England. At the age of 31, he made his international debut in August 2013. A move to Liverpool in this window would be like a dream turning into reality for Lambert.
There has been a lot of skepticism about the potential transfer among the Liverpool fans as soon as the news of the potential transfer was reported. Many fans have been of the opinion that a younger striker should have been looked at instead of Lambert, who would be able to play at this level for potentially a couple of years.
Liverpool’s current striking options
Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge were phenomenal last season. They managed to score a combined 52 goals in the league. However, the problem for Liverpool during the season was an effective backup to the duo. Iago Aspas managed to start five games and made nine appearances as a subsitute. He did not score in the league and contributed only a single assist in the campaign.It is very likely that Aspas would be sold by Liverpool this season.
By virtue of not playing in European competitions and relatively lesser injuries with Sturridge and Suarez during the season, the lack of striking options did not harm Liverpool’s season in a big way. The absence of a backup did hamper their chances in the race for the Premier League title. There were games in the season, when a replacement for a tired Suarez or Sturridge would have benefitted the team. Both the games against Chelsea were a perfect example when Liverpool needed more striking options to come off the bench and provide more energy and ideas on the field. Sturridge in particular looked jaded in the tie against Chelsea at Anfield which did not help Liverpool’s cause to break down a very well organised defence.
Fabio Borini is likely to feature in Liverpool’s squad having returned from a good loan spell at Sunderland. Borini had a tough first season at Liverpool, with difficult injuries ensuring he did not feature for most parts of the season. He managed to score a single goal in his first season at Liverpool and followed it up with seven goals in the league at Sunderland. He also scored a memorable goal in the Carling Cup final. His injury record has been a matter of concern . He has managed to start only 50 games in his previous three league seasons.
Liverpool’s entry into the champions league means they will play in a lot of games this season. If they manage to advance into the latter stages of the Champions League or the domestic cups, it would mean they would play around 50 to 60 games in the season. The effects of the World Cup are also likely to take its toll on the fitness of players.
It seems unlikely that any of Liverpool’s youngsters could play a key role as a striker in the coming season. A lot depends on the formation Liverpool would be primarily during the course of the season. Last season, Liverpool resorted to playing two strikers upfront in a majority of their games when both Sturridge and Suarez were available. This makes it essential to have three to four strikers in their squad.