Southampton Football Club is delighted to announce that Rickie Lambert has today extended his contract until the summer of 2016.
The striker has penned a two-year extension to his current deal following his excellent start to life in the Barclays Premier League
Lambert is currently seventh in the top-flight goal-scoring chart, having netted his 13th goal of the season in last Saturday’s win over Liverpool.
Furthermore, he is currently the highest-scoring Englishman in the top division, ahead of the likes of Wayne Rooney and Frank Lampard.
The 31-year-old has played every minute of the eight games since the arrival of new First Team Manager Mauricio Pochettino as he continues to adapt and grow as the Club moves forwards.
Lambert’s contract extension follows on from the Club’s decision to hand new deals to Morgan Schneiderlin, Jason Puncheon and Kelvin Davis as it seeks to reward those players who have played a major role in its recent rise.
Lambert said: "I’m over the moon to sign with Southampton for another three years. I am already enjoying myself massively at this Club and the aim now is to stay on for another three years and help push the Club on further than where it already is.
"There is a lot of ambition in this Club for the next few years and that is one of the main reasons that I have signed the contract – and that is why I want to end my career here.
"The core of players who have been together for two or three years are going to be here for another three or four years and that is a really good feeling.
"We all have the same ambition and Nicola’s ambition for this Club drives us all on as well, so it really helps the Club with where we are now and it will help with where we want to go."
Pochettino commented: "Rickie Lambert is a very special player for Southampton Football Club.
"To have scored over 100 goals is a remarkable achievement, and one which he has made possible thanks to hard work and dedication.
"In my time at the Club I have been impressed by his mentality and commitment to improving himself in training – attributes that have allowed him to adapt to the Premier League so well.
"I am delighted that Rickie has committed himself to the Club for a further three years, and have no doubts that he will continue to deliver for Southampton as we look to push on to the next level."
Lambert arrived at St Mary’s in August 2009 as the first major signing following the takeover of the Club led by Nicola Cortese.
His performances during the past four seasons have made the £1million fee Saints paid Bristol Rovers for his services look a real bargain, with the frontman recently passing his goal-scoring century for the Club.
The Liverpudlian’s first year with Southampton saw him make 58 appearances and score 36 goals, including one in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final win over Carlisle United at Wembley Stadium.
He was named in the PFA League 1 Team of the Year and given the PFA Fans’ Player of the Year award at the end of the 2009-10 season, and he took his form into the following campaign.
2010-11 saw him net 21 goals as Saints secured promotion from npower League 1, meaning Lambert would get his first taste of life in the Championship at the age of 29.
He made light work of that step up, fast establishing himself at the top of the goal-scoring chart as his team challenged for top spot for most of the season.
Lambert was named as the Championship Player of the Year at the Football League Awards last March, and would subsequently join Kelvin Davis and Adam Lallana – plus future teammates Nathaniel Clyne and Jay Rodriguez – in the PFA Championship Team of the Year.
His 31 goals last season played a major part in the Club achieving its aim of promotion to the Premier League, offering Lambert the chance to test himself at the highest level of the English game.
Lambert’s performances – and his goal-scoring record– since making his top-flight debut have led to him being linked with a move away from St Mary’s, but his decision to pledge his long-term future to the Club will now bring an end to such speculation.