Rickie Lambert is poised to realise a boyhood ambition by securing a dream move to Liverpool in the coming days.
The Reds have pounced on Southampton in the wake of Mauricio Pochettino’s exit and are set to snap up the England striker for around £4m.
And, while he may be 32 and entering the twilight of his career, Lambert could prove to be the perfect player to take Liverpool from nearly men to winners of the Premier League.
Liverpool are 11/2 to go one better and win the title next season and manager Brendan Rodgers is hoping that Lambert – who will have a medical at Anfield before flying to Miami with the England squad – will prove the missing link.
The Reds have tried and failed with a big man up top experiment before in the shape of £35m flop Andy Carroll but with Lambert offering more than just brute force and an aerial threat Liverpool will have a clear Plan B next season.
Their assault on the Premier League last term was largely down to the goal scoring prowess of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge but if either had picked up a long-term injury the campaign may have looked very different.
With European football added to the schedule for the forthcoming campaign the likelihood of injury and/or fatigue striking either one of the deadly duo will be intensified and this is another reason why Lambert looks a shrewd investment.
The Saints striker was the highest-scoring Englishman in the Premier League in the 2012-13 campaign and has hit double figures in each of his last six seasons.
Lambert is used to playing a rotation role and will clearly be behind Suarez and Sturridge in the pecking order but he could just be the man to help Liverpool end their 25-year wait for a league title.
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