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The England international's struggles in front of goal continued against AC Milan as he saw a penalty saved before being substituted in the second half on Saturday

Having failed to find the net in a Liverpool shirt, the pressure of joining the club he supported as a boy certainly seems to be weighing on Rickie Lambert's shoulders.

Despite that, with the Reds already confirmed as International Champions Cup finallists, Brendan Rodgers saw fit to give new signing from Southampton another start against AC Milan in Charlotte.

Goal takes a look at how he fared as part of a 4-3-2-1 formation and pondered what the future may hold for the 32-year-old forward...


Employed as a lone striker following a disappointing showing in partnership with Daniel Sturridge against Manchester City, Lambert did seem much more comfortable in being allowed to roam across the frontline rather than hold a position on the left as he had in previous outings.

With the pace of Raheem Sterling and Jordon Ibe either side of him, the England international looked to play off the shoulder of Milan's defenders, but that tactic left him slightly isolated from his team-mates, and it is clear an understanding with the midfield runners is still developing.

That said, the former Southampton striker did show the odd neat touch in and around the box, with one notable exchange with Sterling almost leading to the winger firing in a shot on goal.

Lambert's Liverpool career, as with any striker, will be measured by goals, and he fluffed his best chance yet to open his Reds account. Given the responsibility to convert from the penalty spot following a foul on Sterling, he failed to find the corner and Christian Abbiati pulled off a fairly routine save diving to his left.

Brendan Rodgers gave the striker a further 20 minutes in the second half to try and break his duck, but after further isolation he was replaced by Kristoffer Peterson for the remaining 25 minutes.


Lambert was brought to Anfield as someone who could come off the bench to either provide a goal or help keep the ball in attacking areas dependant on the situation. Even with Luis Suarez's departure, his role is unlikely to have changed.

Sturridge is currently expected to start the season up front on his own with the likes of Sterling, Lazar Markovic and Philippe Coutinho set to provide the assists. Lambert should soon become accustomed with the substitutes' bench once the new campaign gets underway.

How often he is called upon will likely depend on whether another striker is brought to the club after Loic Remy's proposed signing fell through, but it would be a surprise not to see him replace Sturridge on plenty of occasions as the season moves forward.

Playing for your boyhood club is daunting at the best of times, and Lambert does seem slightly overawed by the situation he has found himself in. This was no more illustrated by his uncharacteristic penalty miss in Charlotte, and he may require a goal before the Anfield faithful see the best of him on a regular basis.


If Lambert can provide anything in excess of ten goals in his debut campaign with Liverpool then it can certainly be deemed a success given his fairly modest price tag and the likelihood that he will not be a regular starter.

The 32-year-old has not been signed by Rodgers to replace the goals that Suarez scored for the club, but if he can go some way to chipping away at the 31  the side is missing from its 2013-14 campaign, then he can certainly hold his head high.