Liverpool have officially completed the signature of Southampton striker Rickie Lambert for a sum believed to be around £4m.
The striker has penned down a deal with the Reds after passing a medical at Melwood. The rumor of Rodger’s interest in acquiring the Southampton ace has been circling for the past two days and everyone expected the official announcement this week. The Liverpool born forward is currently in Miami with the England World Cup squad but completed a medical and agreed personal terms with the club over the weekend.
Lambert has scored 117 goals in 235 appearances for Southampton in his five years at the club. The boyhood Liverpool fan, who was released by the Merseyside club when he was 15, has finally realized his dream of playing at Anfield. In an interview with LFCTV, he was overwhelmed and talked about representing the Reds and fulfilling his dream
“I can’t believe it. I’ve loved this club all my life. I left here 17 years ago – and I haven’t stopped loving it since. To be back here now having just signed at the age of 32 is hard to describe. Obviously I have always dreamt of playing for Liverpool, but I did kind of think the chance of playing for them had gone. I didn’t think the chance would come. It was a shock when I heard Liverpool were in for me. When I knew of the interest from Liverpool, the first thought was of playing and scoring in front of the Kop and how it might be a possibility. Now that I’ve signed, it could become a reality. I know what I need to do, I know what matters.”
He also mentioned that he would be giving in his heart and soul into whatever is required of him. When asked what his ambitions and hopes at Liverpool were, he said, “To help push the club forward. They’ve had an unbelievable season and just missed out [on the title]. Whatever role Brendan has for me, I hope I can just help them push on again and hopefully clinch the title. That is everyone’s dream, and that is what we’ve got to believe we can do”
When asked how he felt when Liverpool had released him, he replied, “It was absolutely devastating. Absolutely devastating! I can remember at the time thinking I wasn’t going to be a footballer – I’d been dropped from Liverpool and it was the end of the world for me. I was so devastated. At the time, I thought nothing was ever going to feel worse than that, but I can tell people now life goes on and you shouldn’t let it hit you too much… but I never thought I’d manage to get back here!”
Brendan Rodgers has appreciated the player in the past and had apparently set his sights on him for a while now. He hailed him last September, before the Saints took on Liverpool at Anfield. He had said at the time:
“I’ve seen Rickie Lambert over the years and he’s one of those players that probably never got the recognition for what a really good footballer he is. It’s only late on in his career – at 29, 30, 31 – that people are really starting to focus on his qualities. He was probably seen as the traditional big No.9, a British striker that is good in the air. But he’s one of the most accomplished footballers I’ve seen. It has been so refreshing that he’s got his call into the England team, and he certainly hasn’t let anyone down – he has been outstanding. Look at his touch, look at the level of his goals, the different types of goals he has scored over his career, and he’s a specialist on penalties as well.I think he is a terrific footballer and any team he plays against, he’s always a handful.”
Lambert also released a statement on the Southampton official website and thanked everyone from Alan Pardew, to the fans. He concluded by saying: