After a busy summer of incomings, Liverpool now look to the task of the outgoings. There are not many that the club are actively shopping, and rumors of player sales have focused primarily on a trio of attackers and one defender. More rumors will likely emerge before the end of the summer, but for now there's a general agreement that Rickie Lambert, Mario Balotelli, and Fabio Borini are on the club's for sale list along with full-time social media icon and part-time fullback Jose Enrique.
Of the four mentioned, only Lambert looks close to an exit; Borini has either mooted moves or seen interest from preferred clubs fall away, Balotelli has been linked with a return to Italy without anything concrete emerging, and Enrique has been watching You Tube videos of David Blaine: Street Magic in anticipation of impressing new roommates on the road by levitating.
Talk of a deal for Lambert to join West Bromwich Albion became a thing halfway through Liverpool's preseason tour of Thailand, Australia, and Malaysia, and there's still suggestions that the 33-year-old is set for the West Midlands. The weekend has brought rumors that it's not quite so straightforward, however, as now Leicester City and new boss Claudio Ranieri are in the for the former Southampton and beet root factory man.
Whether or not that interest re-routes Lambert from the Hawthorns to the King Power remains to be seen, but both would certainly afford the front man far more minutes than he'd be getting at Anfield. Liverpool are apparently reluctant to let him go given that he's a model professional, but the romance of his move home never quite came to fruition, and with just a few years left in his career, finding a place for him to get minutes needs to be the top priority.
When he is sold, it will be with some regret, as the club could never accommodate the role that was expected. The injury to Daniel Sturridge early last season forced Lambert into a far more significant role in Liverpool's attack, and with a squad that was tanking, he was never going to be a success. He managed a few nice moments, including a goal against Ludogorets in the Champions League and one of the goals of the season--more for the rapturous, unforgettable celebrations that followed rather than the strike, well-taken as it was, itself--against Aston Villa.
No matter if it's Leicester or West Brom, Rickie Lambert will leave with well-wishes from Liverpool supporters.
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