‘It was very close. It was touch and go. We agreed everything.’ – Rickie Lambert
Lambert’s Last Throw of the Dice
With Villa’s goal drought seriously threatening their Premiership survival Paul Lambert had actively entered the January market looking for an additional striker. When the news broke on deadline day Rickie Lambert was being sought, it came as a bit of a surprise to Villa fans. After all the Liverpool striker had only just joined the club a matter of months ago and being a scouser it was his boyhood team.
MOMS didn’t think it would ever happen at such late notice, as Lambert, now 33-years-old is in the twilight of his career and from a sentimental point-of-view it would have been nice for him to finish up at Liverpool.
The age factor was also baffling from a Villa point-of-view. Why drop 5 million on a player that had one maybe two seasons in him? It was very short-term thinking. Surely, there were younger striker options that could give you both short-term impact and also value for money in the long-term?
What Rickie Said
Anyway. Rickie Lambert has this week come out to tell his side of the story and admits he was very close to signing, although interestingly he admits, the first he heard about it was at 4pm on deadline day.
“I got a phone call from the gaffer about 4pm (on deadline day) saying Aston Villa had come in,” said Lambert to the Liverpool Echo.
“He said he didn’t want me to go, but basically offered me the chance if I wanted to play football, which is fair enough. I spoke to my agent, my wife, to Aston Villa and it was close. It was very close. It was touch and go. We agreed everything.
“But in the end there just wasn’t enough time to say ‘yes’ – to make a decision in the space of four or five hours for the next two-and-a-half-years. Not just for me, but for my family as well. It was something I just couldn’t do. It was too short notice. It was too big of a decision to make in the short amount of time I had.”
I just didn’t think it was right for me to leave here just six months into my Liverpool career. I didn’t want to go.”
From what the Liverpool Lambert is saying is all the money and contract side was agreed with a two-and-a-half year contract being offered to the striker to take him past his 35th birthday.
The big question is, if Villa Lambert was desperate for a striker, why not approach his namesake a little earlier in January? Since it was obviously a decision a guy of his age with a family would need to mull over. You need a striker, so you wait until 4pm on deadline day and put all your chips on something that is obviously not going to happen at such late notice? Seems a strange tactic.
Perhaps it’s good news that there are currently no Lambert’s at Villa Park now!