The saying is annoying and cliched, but given the length of his absence, Daniel Sturridge's return from injury this month has been like a new signing. Through a difficult fall and winter period, they were desperately in need of a forward that could provide a finishing touch, and while Raheem Sterling has done admirably filling in, a player of Sturridge's caliber is exactly what Brendan Rodgers would have wanted this month.
There are, of course, three other strikers in the squad aside from Sturridge, but none of Fabio Borini, Mario Balotelli, or Rickie Lambert have proven capable of filling in for last season's second-leading goalscorer. Each have found themselves linked with moves away as a result, and while it doesn't look like any will be leaving this month, that hasn't prevented late speculation that Lambert might make a temporary exit to aid any number of Premier League strugglers.
Links are tenuous at best, and Rodgers has already asserted that the former Southampton striker won't be going anywhere, but that the Mirror are claiming that Lambert is wanted by Crystal Palace (again), West Brom, QPR, and Hull City, all of whom are expected to be fighting relegation at season's end. A player of Lambert's quality--no matter his relative problems this season at Liverpool--would be a significant boost, and it's no surprise that others are interested.
That doesn't mean it's going to happen, of course, and of the three strikers behind Sturridge on the depth chart, Lambert seems the least likely to move on. Balotelli has been a poor fit and Borini's been on the fringes since refusing a move in the summer, while Lambert was brought in with the clear expectation of serving as backup. Add in the romance of the story with manager's preference, and there's little reason to believe that Rickie Lambert will be leaving anytime soon.
Plus he's the team's joint-leading goalscorer among recognized strikers in the Premier League with Sturridge, so that has to mean something.