Adam Lallana

Ones To Watch: Southampton

by Ashley Houghton

We profile three Saints to keep tabs on.

Rickie Lambert

Southampton striker Rickie Lambert has proved the lynchpin in the Saints' return to the Barclays Premier League with 14 goals in 31 matches.

Since joining Southampton in 2009, Lambert has made 189 appearances, scoring 102 goals whilst picking up individual honours which include PFA Fans’ League One Player of the Year in 2009-10 and Football League Championship Player of the Year in 2011-12.

Lambert joined the Saints from Bristol Rovers after making over 150 appearances for the Gas between 2006 and 2009.

He began his career with Blackpool before travelling the Football League with Macclesfield Town, Stockport County and Rochdale.

Lambert has received comparison to Saints legend Matt Le Tissier due to his goal-scoring prowess and the fact he is yet to miss any of his 31 spot-kicks in a Southampton shirt – Le Tissier missed just one of his 48 penalties.

Luke Shaw

The 17-year-old has taken to the Barclays Premier League in fine fashion in his debut season.

Shaw joined up with the Saints' academy as an eight-year-old and he has since progressed to the first team, making 27 appearances in his first campaign.

Likened to former Southampton star Gareth Bale, Shaw is the latest of a long-line of Saints youngsters who have made it to the very top level including Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Wayne Bridge.

Shaw has played for both England’s U16 and U17 sides and is widely expected to make his England U21 debut in the near future after pulling out of Stuart Pearce’s latest squad due to injury.

Adam Lallana

Skilful midfielder Adam Lallana (pictured) progressed through the youth ranks at Southampton after he was snapped up as a 12-year-old from Bournemouth.

Lallana has made 221 appearances for the Saints and he scored his 50th goal for the club in a 2-0 win at Reading in April 2013.

The 24-year-old has played once for England U21’s but he is yet to feature for the full national side despite earning his first call-up in September 2012.

St Albans-born Lallana has been an essential part of the Saints’ consecutive promotions from League One through to the Barclays Premier League.

He was voted in both the League One and Championship PFA Teams of the Year in 2009-10 and 2010-11 respectively.