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ickie Lambert has managed 11 Premier League goals this season for Southampton, five more than all of West Ham’s frontmen combined. After failing in a January swoop for the Saints attacker, is Sam Allardyce right to remain intere  sted in the 31 year old and would he be a summer signing Hammers fans would welcome?
For me, the simple answer is yes. We have been struggling hugely for goals this season, managing just 29 in the 26 games played. Furthermore in Carlton Cole and Modibo Maiga, the only recognised strikers contracted to West Ham as of the end of the season, we desperately lack a goalscorer. Okay we may end up signing Andy Carroll come the summer but again with just two goals to his name this season, he does not exactly come under the ‘prolific’ category.
West Ham reportedly had a bid for Lambert firmly rejected during January but according to reports Allardyce is lining up a summer move.
I have always liked Lambert as a player. There is no doubting the man’s eye for a goal. After scoring a hatful of goals at previous clubs Stockport, Rochdale and Bristol Rovers,  the 6ft 2in striker has found the net an impressive 89 times in 158 games for Southampton. His finishing in my opinion is up there with the best in the league and technically he is very good. He is an intelligent frontman and despite scoring plenty, he brings others into the game very well. The Saints ace has always been dangerous in the air, not that we are lacking many 6 foot something centre forwards.
Despite his exceptional scoring record, views of the potential signing of Rickie Lambert have understandably been mixed among West Ham fans. The Englishman is no spring chicken and at the age of 31, and arguably only has two or three good years ahead of him. Before this season Lambert had never played in the top flight of English football with all his goals coming in the lower leagues, questioning whether he has what it takes at the highest level. And of course there is the issue of another striker joining the club with a lack of pace and being over six foot, not adding much variation or unpredictability to our side.
I understand these views but I still strongly believe that Lambert would be a top signing for the club. Despite bagging the vast majority of his goals in the lower leagues, Lambert has showed this season that as the standard of competition improves, he still finds the back of the net regularly. 11 goals in a struggling Southampton side is extremely good going and he is level with Theo Walcott and Frank Lampard as the leading English scorer this season. His performances and goals have rightfully linked him with an England call up.
I recognise that by signing a 31 year old, there will be no chance making money selling Lambert on in the future. However with his contract ending at the end of next season and with his age, I would expect we could sign him for a reasonable price and get two or three good years out of him. He appears very much to be a late developer and is clearly playing the best football of his career currently. He has proved he is the kind of player who scores important goals and whether he is playing well or not, has that gift of popping up in the positions to find the back of the net. Another thing that has impressed is his attitude. He has clearly worked hard his entire career to move his way up the divisions and he is very much a team man.I do believe that whatever happens with Andy Carroll at the end of the season will probably determine whether Big Sam’s interest in Lambert remains. If Carroll becomes a West Ham player, which I still doubt, then I would expect Allardyce to probably stay away from Lambert. I am not convinced the two could work together up top and the manager would look to build the team around Carroll, something which wouldn’t suit Lambert.
For me, the decision to make a summer swoop for Rickie Lambert, as long as the price is right, is a no brainer. The striker is intelligent, strong, technically sound and most importantly a proven goalscorer. He is a player I think the fans will take too. Just think what we would give and where we would be, if we had frontman on 11 goals already this season.
Come on you Irons

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