Rickie Lambert’s move to Liverpool last season was the stuff of every supporter’s dream. Having been released by his boyhood club aged 15, his homecoming to Anfield at the belated age of 32 seemed nothing short of a glorious conclusion to a career that has seen the Kirkby-born lad traverse through all four levels of English League football , plus a stint with a non-league side and a time when he had to work in a beetroot bottling plant to make ends meet.
It was finally his terrific record at Southampton, standing at an amazing 106 goals in 207 league appearances that facilitated his £3 million move to Anfield last summer. It was a chance for the much adored striker to live his lifelong dream.
However, that dream did not take long to turn into a nightmare. Though definitely not a failure, Lambert never got his Liverpool career off the track and toiled fruitlessly in the few opportunities he received. With offers to leave in January, most notably from Aston Villa, he chose to stick around Anfield and fight for his place. However, with the Reds’ fortunes nosediving in the subsequent months en-route to a miserable sixth place finish, coupled with the new attacking signings arriving at the club this summer in the form of Christian Benteke , Danny Ings , Roberto Firmino and Divock Origi, Lambert’s race at Liverpool appears to have been run and he is widely tipped to depart this summer.
The Birmingham Mail have now reported that the 33-year-old is all set to be confirmed as a West Brom player by the end of this week. These claims have further been attested by reports in the Daily Mail that the Reds have given Albion permission to hold talks with the striker and his representatives.
The Birmingham Mail further claim that both the clubs have concluded the majority of the talks for Lambert, and the transfer is now just a formality , with the lifelong Liverpool player set to be unveiled at the Hawthorns once the Reds’ return from preseason duty.
Perhaps the only sticking point that remains is the player’s valuation, £4.5 million according to Liverpool, with West Brom digging their heels in for something closer to £3 million.
With a tally of just two league goals and two assists last season, coupled with a shot accuracy of 53% and a chance conversion rate of 13% , Lambert had a pretty forgettable campaign last time out.
However, scousers are renowned for valuing hard work and love for the famous Red Shirt over flair and talent, and that is why all Liverpudlians will wave a heartfelt goodbye to a player who is very much one amongst them. Lambert was never found wanting in effort or commitment in a Liverpool shirt, and it is this sole reason why he will forever be fondly remembered in the Anfield corridors.