Southampton striker Rickie Lambert is looking forward to playing Premier League football next season.
The Saints will be back in the English top flight next season after a seven year absence.
Lambert was one of the key players in Southampton’s promotion.
Lambert has never played top flight football in his long career and he is now dreaming of facing the top players in England. He told Sky Sports: “It means everything – it’s a dream come true. It’s been a long career I’ve had, and I’ve played a lot of games for my age,”
“To get here at the age of 30 is something I’m over the moon about. I just can’t wait for it. The Premier League has some of the best players in the world so I can’t wait to test my wits against them.
“For the team to perform the way I know we can perform on the biggest stage against the biggest clubs, every one of us can’t wait for that day.”
At 30 years of age Rickie Lambert is regarded as something of a lower league journeyman. And I have to admit I see comparisons with Norwich striker Grant Holt. When Norwich were promoted through the leagues people started asking if Holt could step up a level.
This season Holt has proved himself good enough for the Premier League. Lambert has enjoyed a similar sort of nomadic existence in his career. However the most similar characteristic between the two former-Rochdale strikers is they score goals.
Rickie Lambert has been one of the most consistent strikers in the lower leagues in the last few seasons. Since joining Southampton in 2009 from Bristol Rovers the Liverpool-born striker has scored an impressive 78 goals in 125 appearances.
It wasn’t until Lambert joined Bristol Rovers that he really found his goal scoring form after unimpressive spells at Blackpool, Macclesfield and Rochdale. The fact that he has blossomed later on in his career means that he will appreciate his time in the top flight far more.
Rickie Lambert has always been considered a talented lower-level player. During the early days of his career he had potential but he wasn’t consistent enough. He has worked his way up the football ladder by working hard and next season he will get his reward.
Rickie Lambert has been outstanding this season scoring 31 goals, as Southampton completed their second successive promotion. Lambert’s goals have guided his team to the unexpected position of second in the Championship.
The striker was also named Championship Player of the Year this season, as a reward for his part in the Saints promotion.
Next season will be a big test for Lambert and his team. Just like Norwich, the club has claimed successive promotions. The Saints have good financial backing and manager Nigel Adkins has built a very good team.
Just like the Canaries though I don’t think Southampton will look out of place in the English top flight. And I don’t think Rickie Lambert will look out of place in the Premier League either. If Lambert can do as well as Norwich contemporarily Holt then he will have had a superb season.
Will Rickie Lambert be a success in the Premier League next season?