Tony Pulis is on the search for a striker and looks to have identified one who can push West Bromwich Albion further next season. Rickie Lambert's top flight record at Southampton merits respect after plundering 28 goals in 75 appearances. His goalscoring and intelligence brought him the opportunity to finally make an appearance for his cherished boyhood club, Liverpool. Unfortunately the move hasn't worked out as planned in a season of struggle for both club and player, and Lambert's future almost certainly lies elsewhere.
The 33-year-old explained his reasons for rejecting a move to Aston Villa in January, and it seemed that he made the right choice as Paul Lambert was sacked the following month, which would have made Lambert's position insecure after only just moving to the Midlands. Liverpool would have banked an impressive £5 million for a reserve player who didn't quite look up to the task after just half a season, but Lambert decided to stay to presumably fight for his place and experience an entire season at the club of his dreams.
It's difficult to see room for Lambert with the arrival of Divock Origi and Danny Ings who are both mobile and young, two qualities the Kirkby native cannot offer as a squad option. Experience is an important quality but must be allied with productivity on the pitch, and this was where Lambert fell short. There can be debates about how Lambert was used and what should have been reasonably expected of him considering his role at the club, but a number of Premier League sides would benefit from a striker with his attributes. If Christian Benteke leaves Aston Villa, Lambert along with another striker could provide greater depth for Tim Sherwood to call upon. Bournemouth may benefit as Southampton did with Lambert in their ranks, if Eddie Howe is interested in and can secure the England international.
If Lambert does indeed move on, it is hoped that he'll find a place where he can thrive as he has done in recent years.