As Liverpool strikers Mario Balotelli and Fabio Borini wait for similar confirmations as their Anfield careers edge towards their end, West Bromwich Albion have announced the capture of Reds striker Rickie Lambert on a two year deal.
The 33-year old, who managed only a pair of Premier League goals last season, struggled to make an impact during his only season on Merseyside, and despite being included on their pre-season tour, always looked set to leave this summer with Liverpool bringing in strike duo Danny Ings, Christian Benteke and having youngster Divock Origi return from his season long loan with French side Lille.
“Rickie is a good, strong, solid player who is a great character, good in the dressing room and good on the pitch,” said the Albion head coach Tony Pulis. “We are very pleased to have him on board,” he continued. “He’s a player of great pedigree and we look forward to integrating him into our squad.”
With Lambert out the door, it’s been rumoured that Benteke will be handed the Reds famous Number 9 shirt, formerly worn by the likes of Ian Rush, Robbie Fowler and Fernando Torres, for the coming year. Although he has left out of Liverpool’s last pre-season friendly in Finland this weekend, the Belgian is set to play a major role with the Anfield outfit with not only his massive transfer fee, but the honour of being handed such a prestigious shirt, proving that boss Brendan Rodgers believes he’s the man to solve their problems in front of the net.