The summer is a time of renewed hope, the death of winter and the beginning of a new period of life.
It is in this climate that football is at its most beautiful, and summer footballers are born.
Summer footballers are unique, limited in the impact that they can have. While a player may usually peak over several seasons, the very nature of international tournaments means that the peak for a summer footballer happens rapidly.
Who can forget Andrei Arshavin’s star turn at Euro 2008, never to be repeated after his move to Arsenal.
A more contemporary example is Bryan Ruiz at this summer’s World Cup, a player who has now settled into mediocrity in the Championship. He starred on the world’s stage as Costa Rica made a surprise run to the knockout stages.
As a result, it’s something of a surprise to see Liverpool pushing so hard to complete Divock Origi’s move in this transfer window, in the hope that he can improve their season.
In fact, The Sun are today running a story that Origi will be signed if the Reds can move Rickie Lambert on.
This strikes me as a bit of a mistake, especially after Lambert’s fine goal against Aston Villa yesterday, which wrapped up an excellent 2-0 win for Brendan Rodgers’ side.
Origi, by comparison, has been struggling this season, not following up his form from Brazil well, like many before him. As Lille have faltered, so has the Belgian international, scoring only 3 goals in the 17 games that he has played in Ligue 1 this season. At the World Cup, he bagged one goal in only 246 minutes of football, which translates to about a goal every three full games, a far superior record.
The forward’s form has been so poor that he has only played from the start in one of Lille’s last four matches, and did not play at all in 50 percent of those games.
This is not the sort of player that a manager should recall from loan early in order to improve the outcome of a season, especially since it would be placing undue pressure onto such young shoulders.
Lambert has not been on top of his game since moving from Southampton, but his form has improved somewhat as the season has gone on. His long range strike yesterday was a classic example of the England international’s technical brilliance that belies a player of his side – slotted from distance into the bottom left corner, Brad Guzan was left with no chance of saving the shot.
Letting Lambert go at this point strikes me as a bad idea. He’s finally getting better, and fitting into Rodgers’ side when called upon. The 19 year old cannot be guaranteed to reach the heights that saw Liverpool lay out £10 million for him, and it would be better if he recaptured his form in the relatively less intense atmosphere of Ligue 1, rather than being relied upon in a potential Champions League push for Liverpool, one which could ruin his confidence.
All in all, the switch outlined in The Sun makes very little sense.