Liverpool have announced the departure of striker Rickie Lambert, who has signed a two-year contract with West Bromwich Albion.
Lambert, 33, leaves Anfield after just one season with the Merseyside outfit after Liverpool agreed a £3 million fee with the Baggies.
The England international grew up supporting Liverpool and described his move to the Reds from Southampton as a “dream” last summer - but the dream failed to pan out as he would have hoped 12 months ago.
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Lambert scored a disappointing three goals in 36 appearances for Liverpool, but made just seven Premier League starts under Brendan Rodgers, who brought the striker in as a back-up option.
Mario Balotelli made more Premier League starts for the Reds, but managed to score one solitary goal - one fewer than Lambert in England’s top flight.
Balotelli also set to leave
Rodgers has decided to offload both strikers - Balotelli is currently training separately from the first-team squad as Liverpool seek a buyer - and has brought in Christian Benteke from Aston Villa to replace the under-performing duo.
Roberto Firmino will also be expected to contribute goals following his move from Hoffenheim, while Daniel Sturridge will be eager to make up for lost time after missing most of last season through injury.
Tony Pulis hails Lambert
Despite his advancing years, Lambert will be a useful signing for West Brom, whose manager Tony Pulis hailed the club’s latest arrival via the Baggies’ official website.
"Rickie is a good, strong, solid player who is a great character, good in the dressing room and good on the pitch," said the Albion head coach. "We are very pleased to have him on board.
"He's a player of great pedigree and we look forward to integrating him into our squad."
Could Saido Berahino now leave?
Lambert will face competition for a place in West Brom’s first team from the likes of Brown Ideye, Victor Anichebe and Saido Berahino.
Berahino is wanted by several Premier League clubs - including Tottenham - and West Brom fans might be fearing the arrival of Lambert could signal the departure of the talented 21-year-old who has made no secret of the fact he wants to play for a bigger team.
Liverpool fans react on Twitter
Liverpool fans, meanwhile, have been reacting to the news of Lambert’s departure on Twitter - and here are some of the best responses.
Lambert will now be eager to prove that he deserved more opportunities to shine at Liverpool - and he will also be hoping to do enough to earn a place in Roy Hodgson’s squad for the European Championships in France next summer.
If he can replicate his Southampton form at West Brom then the ageing forward has an outside chance of realising that particular dream.
Liverpool fans: was Rickie Lambert a poor signing by Brendan Rodgers? Have your say by leaving a comment in the box below!
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