Rickie Lambert: Adam Lallana the best I've played with
Rickie Lambert says Southampton team-mate Adam Lallana is the best he's played with and he deserves his England chance.
Last Updated: 14/11/13 9:08am
The Southampton pair and club team-mate Jay Rodriguez are all in the England squad for friendlies with Chile and Germany.
Saints have had their best ever start to a top-flight season and sit in third place, form which has led to call ups for three of their key players.
And Lambert says Lallana's call-up is fully deserved.
"Adam is a one-off. I've never played with anyone like him," he said. "He's the best player I've played with. We've known how good he is for years and he's starting to show on the world stage how good he can be."
Lallana is a product of Southampton's renowned academy, as were the likes of Gareth Bale, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who have all moved on.
Youth products James Ward-Prowse and Luke Shaw are both in Saints first team and knocking on the England door while defenders Calum Chambers, Matt Targett and Jordan Turnbull are England Under-19 internationals.
Chairman Nicola Cortese and manager Mauricio Pochettino spent heavily on signing the likes of Dejan Lovren, Victor Wanyama and Dani Osvaldo last summer, but the focus very much relies on home-grown talent.
It is a policy Lambert says should be emulated by other clubs. "We want to see a starting XI in the Premier League that is fed from our youth development."
"I think a lot of other chairmen are going out and spending money on the continent instead of investing in young British players and that is a shame.
"I'm not just saying it because I am at Southampton but I think other chairmen need to take a look at how (Cortese) has done things and make it an example. Nicola made it clear that the youth system is the way we are going to go.
"It has given them the confidence to feel free and play their stuff. To see the players like Prowsey, Chambo (Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain) and Luke Shaw coming through and Callum Chambers as well, it's a pleasure to be part of it."
Should Lambert make the plane to Brazil, he would have no qualms about taking a penalty in the World Cup finals. He has a remarkable record from the spot for Southampton - taken 33, scored 33.
"Obviously if I got that chance I would be confident scoring," said Lambert, who has a straightforward technique when it comes to spot-kicks.
"It is not rocket science to be honest. I just pick a corner and hit it as hard as I can and just be confident.
"It is working pretty well."