It's probably safe to say that Rickie Lambert dotted the "I"s in his name with tiny little hearts when he signed his Liverpool contract last week. The player's euphoria over signing with his boyhood club was palpable, and he plans on channeling that joy into being his very best self when he finally gets to don the Liverpool shirt next season.
"I wasn't expecting a chance at Liverpool but I have got it," Lambert said. "Now that I've got it I will do everything to not let it go and I am more than confident that I will take the chance and I will be able to improve my game again. I've done that every season. I'm going to get fitter. I'm going to do everything I can to get onto the next level now.
"Even though I'm 32 I feel like a kid again. I've got so much enthusiasm for the game. The fact that I'm playing under Brendan Rodgers and for Liverpool I just can't wait. It could have come earlier in my career - if it had I don't think I would be performing at the level I am now. I might have missed the chance."
Time and fate colluded to bring Lambert to Liverpool at this point in his career, and the club would be hard pressed to sign another player with more love for the club than he's currently exhibiting. But the goodwill of the fates can only get you so far, and Lambert knows that it's up to him to ensure his time at Liverpool is everything he ever expected it to be in his wildest dreams.
"This is a good time because I am mentally and physically ready," he continued. "If it doesn't work out now there are no excuses. I have done everything I can to get to this point. I wasn't expecting a chance to play for Liverpool but now I've got it I'll be trying my best to deliver."
With all the pre-season bonding he's already doing with his fellow Reds on England's World Cup squad, Lambert will arrive in Liverpool settled and amongst friends. His story may be the most heartstring-tugging of any transfer deal Liverpool concludes this summer, but success for both Liverpool and Lambert on the pitch is what could evolve it into one of the great stories of the season.