Under Alan Pardew, Rickie Lambert was the spearhead for a direct and attacking, yet lacking a Plan B, Southampton side in which he was responsible for 35% of Saints’ goals in a side that was only outscored by the Champions, Norwich, now playing in the top flight after back-to-back promotions. Yet under Adkins, Lambert has undergone a transition and one that took some time; however, by his own accord, he’s now in the “best shape of [his] life,” and the striker is much a part of the passing, patient build up play as his team-mates and their dependency, as accused by some, has not only dropped by 0.5%, but has been proven as mythical, with Saints securing 2 wins on the bounce, scoring 5 in the process, whilst Lambert serves his three-match ban for a straight red he received against Brighton.
The England u-17 international, who is described as a, “tidy player with strong leadership skills,” on the official club site, hasn’t even featured for the first team in a league game yet; however, he has made an appearance in each of the League and F.A. Cup and scored a goal in the latter in a 2-1 win over Coventry, in an 18-man side including a string of home-grown talents.
Part of the Southampton youth side that is through to the FA Youth Cup fifth round, having beaten Bolton 2-1 in the fourth round and Sheffield United 7-0 in the third round, Ward-Prowse has made 10 starts and has scored twice for Southampton u-18s, who sit second in the Under 18 Premier Academy League Group A. They’re currently on a run of 8 consecutive wins and their past 6 league games have returned 6 clean sheets; whilst up the other end, Saints have fired 13 goals past opposition defences. With Ward-Prowse, among a few others, receiving call ups to the first team, you can expect this young talent to feature more for Saints over the 12 months.
With just over a week left in the January transfer window and Nigel Adkins hinting at more players coming in through the door, “our endeavour is to bring another striker into the football club,” Southampton F.C look to capitalise on an impressive first half back in the Championship, following their 2-year absence. With an automatic promotion spot to their name and a strong squad becoming stronger as players join and return from injury, it may well not be too long before Southampton can test their credentials as the next Swansea.
Written by Jordan Florit for www.maycauseoffence.com/
For more articles visit my website or my Twitter @JordanFlorit
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