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  • "So disappointed when anyone leaves but Rickie a speciaI case. Getting older now and achieving all his dreams in the last year must have been like heaven to him.

    Absolutely delighted that the Saints agreed to the move - a fair reward to a man who (in my opinion) was the lead in our promotion from the bottom of the pile when he joined to where we are today. I know it was a team effort but Rickie would be my choice as the man that history will show was the leading light

    Also hate conspiracy theories about Liverpool softening up some other players by buying Rickie up cheap.

    ITS ONLY ABOUT MONEY and who wouldn't change jobs for a pay rise of whatever it happens to be (Does anyone really know????)

    What would we do if we were offered 100% more PLUS the chance for all the extras such as probably playing in Europe, a higher profile, better sponsorships and mixing with even more superstars"
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Steven Davis says even the most committed Southampton fans would find it hard to begrudge Rickie Lambert his transfer too Liverpool

Basingstoke Gazette: Steven Davis Steven Davis

Saints 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.

Saints 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.''

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