Lambert should be applauded for staying at Liverpool, not mocked
Rickie Lambert’s future was one of the hottest topics on transfer deadline day, with Aston Villa the most intent on signing him after tabling a £5m bid, though the former Southampton man wasn’t prepared to move from Liverpool in the end.
The decision will be seen by many as foolhardy or simply stupid in some cases, as the 32-year-old is certainly not being afforded anything like regular starts for the Reds.
With a chance at representing England at a second major tournament potentially at stake, accepting Villa’s advances may well have revived a prospect which must be dwindling in its likelihood currently.
There’s little doubt that after setting a seriously unwanted club record of six Premier League games without scoring, Paul Lambert would have laid out the red carpet in terms of starts for his namesake.
However, without disrespect to a sleeping giant such as Villa, Lambert has already earned his big move and he has every right to stay and fight for minutes at his boyhood club for at least one whole season.
In his mind, a career slugged out in the lower leagues for the most part has paid the ultimate dividend in landing him a chance to play for Liverpool, a mere fantasy no doubt when moving from Rochdale to Bristol Rovers.
It’s true the goals Lambert bagged at St Mary’s and the aforementioned clubs have not been forthcoming – only three have arrived in all competitions – but when viewed as two top-flight strikes in five starts his qualities become more apparent.
Lambert wouldn’t be the first striker (think Peter Crouch) to burn slowly at Liverpool before earning affection either and, encouragingly for the scouser Mario Balotelli has been far worse and Daniel Sturridge could get injured again at a moment’s notice.
If the target-man’s opportunities at the 5/1 top-four shots do remain as limited, then the summer will be the time to reassess, but for now, and with Liverpool still in three competitions, he should be respected for not giving up on the dream just yet.
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