Rickie Lambert joins Liverpool: Southampton midfielder Steven Davis admits 'everyone is delighted for Rickie' after he completes move to boyhood club

Lambert rejoined Liverpool on Monday after being released by the club as a young boy

Southampton midfielder Steven Davis believes even the club's most committed fans will not begrudge Rickie Lambert his dream move to Liverpool.

The England striker left St Mary's to join his boyhood team this week, completing a remarkable rise through the divisions to the Champions League.

Southampton supporters will be devastated to see the hitman leave after a prolific five-year spell, but Davis does not expect any bitterness towards his former team-mate.

The Northern Ireland captain recalls how pleased Lambert was to play at Anfield as an away player and is glad he can now turn out for his hometown heroes.

"I think everyone is delighted for Rickie. Even the most diehard Saints fans who will have hated to see him leave the club will respect what he has done," said Davis, who will lead his country in a friendly in Chile on Wednesday night.

 

"He's had an unbelievable time there and fired the club from League One to eighth position in the Premier League.

"I think he has deserved this move, I don't think anyone will begrudge him it and I am delighted for him personally.

"I know how much it will mean for him to sign for Liverpool and I hope he will go on to be a success there which I'm sure he will because he has all the attributes and attitude.

"I'm sure he thought his time was gone in terms of getting his chance to go there but I remember how much it meant to him just to play at Anfield with Southampton in our first season back in the Premier League, he had all his family there.

"It's been an unbelievable rise for him and that is a credit to him for how he has adapted his game."

Saints fans may be less magnanimous if Lambert turns out to be the first of several high-profile departures, with Liverpool also circling captain Adam Lallana and Luke Shaw repeatedly linked with Manchester United.

Although the club are currently managerless, Mauricio Pochettino having been cherry-picked by Tottenham at the end of the season, Davis is confident a team who excelled last term will not fall apart.

"We had a great season and kept progressing, it went very quickly because it was so enjoyable," he said.

"Of course, it could be difficult to hold on to players but I'm sure the club has a plan in place to keep moving the club forward.

"We want to get to the next level and that means keeping the players we have and also adding to it."

PA

Sport
footballHe started just four months ago
News
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Travel
Streets ahead: Venice
travelWhat's trending on your wishlist?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect