How Rickie Lambert will fit-in at Liverpool 0

So, it’s fair to say that Rickie Lambert is not going to Liverpool to displace either Luis Suarez or Daniel Sturridge in the first team, but the forward will provide useful squad variety to the forward line.

Lambert isn’t really the targetman he’s portrayed as, because although he can play as an attacking pivot he’s also more than capable with his feet and he isn’t quite as good in the air as you would assume.  In fact, of the 159 aerial duels he contested last season, he won just 68 - needless to say, Andy Carroll he isn’t.

Theoretically, he could partner either Luis Suarez or Daniel Sturridge and provide one or the other with a focal point to operate around.  That’s important, because next season - with Champions League involvement - Liverpool are going to periodically need to rest both Suarez and Sturridge and do so without suffering as a result.  Lambert is not in the same goal-scoring category as either, but he is a significant improvement on Iago Aspas and so Brendan Rodgers has, with this signing, narrowed the quality-gap between his first-eleven and his substitutes’ bench.

It’s smart.

Additionally, should Rodgers ever be without Sturridge and Suarez simultaneously, Lambert could play this role:

Screen Shot 2014-06-02 at 13.53.23The personnel behind him are incidental, because it’s the shape which is important - it’s very similar to the one in which he was used at Southampton.  Philippe Coutinho and Raheem Sterling may be stylistic different to Adam Lallana and Jay Rodriguez, but the dynamic - and more importantly Lambert’s role - would be similar and one which he was familiar with.

Is this a hugely exciting signing?  No, but it was a necessary one, whether it was Lambert or another forward of that type.

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