Having just come off of a 13th placed finish, it was yet another decent season for West Bromwich Albion.
And the 2015/16 season was thought to be one of progression to establish themselves in the Premier League further.
Tony Pulis was embarking on his first full season in charge of the Baggies after taking over from Alan Irvine the previous year.
And he set about moulding the squad in his image, and that was reflected in the club’s summer transfer business.
Pulis is known for a particular style of play with certain types of players, and he played right into that stereotype when he set about securing his third permanent capture of the 2015/16 campaign.
On July 31, 2015, the then 33-year-old Rickie Lambert moved to the Hawthorns for a fee of around £3million.
The striker signed a two-year deal having left his boyhood club Liverpool in search of regular first-team football.
And the reaction the latest Baggies buy received a warm welcome.
— Liam. (@LiamCooper_20) July 31, 2015
— Toby Frost (@tobyfrost96) July 31, 2015
@WBAFCofficial great signing
— Jake (@442Silly) July 31, 2015
@WBAFCofficial delighted that Rickie has joined us, admired him at Saints. He won't regret this move, we are a genuine club, we welcome you
— Chris Hobster (@ChrisHobster) July 31, 2015
First-team football is precisely what Lambert got while at West Brom, but goal-scoring exploits of yesteryear had deserted him.
In 23 Premier League appearances for Pulis’ men, he managed to scored just the once, that goal a consolation effort in a 3-2 defeat to Leicester City on October 31, 2015.
That goal would come after ten matches for the Baggies, and Lambert would fail to score in any of the following 12 games.
West Brom would eventually finish 14th in the division in what was deemed a successful first full season for Pulis in charge.
The following year, Lambert again led the line for the Baggies, featuring in their Premier League defeat to Everton on August 20, 2016.
That would be his final league appearance for the club that year before a League Cup run-out in the second-round tie with Northampton Town.
That would be it for Lambert’s short and unsuccessful career at the Hawthorns, and on August 31, 2016, the then 34-year-old former Liverpool and England man left the club.
His departure threw up reactions of a relieved nature to his departure from plenty of the West Brom supporters.
another class clueliss signing
— ????♂️ (@GREENBAYUK_) August 31, 2016
— Christian (@ChrisBaggies) August 31, 2016
best deal of the window, pity Saudi did not go
— John Banks (@JohnBanks19) August 31, 2016
more stunning transfer business you muppets
— Ian Darby (@darbolina) August 31, 2016
Either way, there was optimism from the off with his particular deal but what would unfold on the pitch would not back up the furore that welcomed Lambert to the Hawthorns.
On paper, it was a move that could have been successful, but in reality, it was anything but.