Rodgers dismisses 'romantic' notion behind Lambert signing

Brendan Rodgers 2

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has rejected claims that Rickie Lambert was signed because of the "romantic" notions behind the boyhood Red's return.

Lambert was released from Anfield as a schoolboy and subsequently spent time out of football, before working his way back up through the lower leagues.

The striker has previously turned out for the likes of Stockport County, Macclesfield Town, Rochdale and Bristol Rovers, before truly flourishing at Southampton.

His impressive performances with the Saints seen him net 28 goals in two Premier League seasons, and he was eventually drafted into the England squad on the back of his good form in August 2013.

The target man's form continued to impress and he was a part of the Three Lions' World Cup squad shortly after sealing a £4 million switch to his boyhood club.

However, Rodgers has shrugged off the continued romanticising of his player's situation and stated that he was brought in because of his football ability alone.

The Liverpool boss told the club's official website: "I feel a bit for Rickie because there's been a lot of talk about that and it's as though he's here because it's a great romantic story.

"But he's here because he's a great player. I've really been impressed with him for years in the Premier League.

"I watched him at lower level and he's always had talent, but he's narrowed his focus the last few years. He's a Kopite, he's got the tattoo and he's a real passionate Scouse guy, but he's here because he's a fantastic footballer."

Lambert will now have added responsibility placed on his shoulders this coming term following the sale of Luis Suarez.

The 32-year-old had been expected to provide backup to the Uruguayan and Daniel Sturridge, but the South American's departure, coupled with Loic Remy's failed medical means Lambert could be set to start the season up top alongside his England teammate.

The five-time European Cup winners have also added Dejan Lovren, Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and Lazar Markovic to their ranks this summer, while Divock Origi will join next season after his £10 million switch saw him loaned back to Lille.

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