Rickie Lambert realised his dream of returning to boyhood team Liverpool after passing a medical and signing a contract on Monday and then stressed he will be “focused” on helping the club achieve success.
The 32-year-old completed the £4million plus add-ons move to the Anfield side while on international duty with England’s World Cup squad in Miami as they prepare for the FIFA showpiece tournament in Brazil this month.
And while Lambert, who scored 14 goals in 39 games for Southampton in the past season, is looking forward to helping Roy Hodgson’s Three Lions enjoy a successful World Cup in South America, he is relishing the opportunity to finally play for the club he left in 1997 after five years as a youth player.
He told the club’s website: “I can’t believe it. I’ve loved this club all my life. I left here 17 years ago – and I haven’t stopped loving it since.
“I have always dreamt of playing for Liverpool, but I did kind of think the chance of playing for them had gone. I didn’t think the chance would come.
“I know how big Liverpool are – and it means everything to me – but I know what is important; I know it’s what I do on the pitch and the minutes I play. I know that’s what matters, and that’s what I’ll be focused on.”
Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool side qualified for the Champions League next season after finishing runners up to Premier League Manchester City so Lambert will be hoping to help the club build on that.
He will also know several of his new Liverpool team-mates given that Steven Gerrard, Jordan Henderson, Glen Johnson, Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling are all in England’s World Cup squad.