English Premiership

Le Tissier calms Saints' fears

2014-05-30 15:00
Rickie Lambert (AFP Photo)

London - Southampton great Matthew Le Tissier has told the south coast club's fans not to be unduly pessimistic about the prospect of striker Rickie Lambert joining Liverpool.

"Let's not panic about possible exits until you see how the funds are reinvested in the squad and see how we look when season starts," Le Tissier wrote on Twitter on Friday.

"One man leaving is another player's opportunity. I only became a regular in Southampton's team after Danny Wallace went to Manchester United."

Reds manager Brendan Rodgers is reported to have made an offer of £4 million plus add-ons for Lambert.

The surprise move comes as Lambert prepares for England's World Cup warm-up against Peru at Wembley on Friday.

Once his England duties are completed, the Daily Mail reports Lambert could undergo a medical on Saturday with a view to sealing the transfer to the Premier League runners-up before he jets off with the England squad for their pre-World Cup training camp in Miami.

It would be a dream move for Liverpool-born Lambert, who supported the club as a child and was a member of the Reds' youth academy for five years before being released as a 15-year-old

The 32-year-old, who worked in a beetroot factory before his professional career finally got going, spent much of his career in the lower leagues of English football with the likes of Rochdale, Stockport and Bristol Rovers before finally hitting the big time with Southampton following their promotion to the Premier League.

He scored 14 goals in 39 games this season and has 117 in 235 appearances since joining Southampton in 2009.

Lambert's potent combination of height, strength and clinical finishing would make him an intriguing addition to Rodgers' squad, which noticeably lacked quality cover for first-choice strikers Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge this season.

"I have been a big admirer of Rickie," Rodgers said earlier this season. "He's never got the recognition for what a really good footballer he is.

"He is probably seen as a traditional big number nine, a typical British striker, but he's one of the most accomplished footballers I've seen.

"Look at his touch and the different types of goals he scores; he is a terrific player."

If Lambert's switch goes through, he could soon be joined at Anfield by Saints team-mate Adam Lallana, with Liverpool currently trying to negotiate a £30 million deal for the England midfielder.

Saints finished eighth in the Premier League, an impressive effort for a club of their resources, but, significantly, they failed to qualify for any European competition, with their star players now vulnerable to offers from wealthier and better-placed clubs.

This has already been a turbulent week for Southampton with former manager Mauricio Pochettino leaving to join another Premier League club in Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday.

And there are reports that Morgan Schneiderlin and Jay Rodriguez may be tempted away from St Mary's as well.


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