Julian Finney/Getty Images
If anyone can testify to how fickle the world of football can be, it is Rickie Lambert.
The Southampton striker has gone from being feted as the man to spearhead England in the 2014 World Cup finals to a bench-warming role at St Mary's Stadium in the space of weeks.
So when the Daily Mirror revealed West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce had made enquiries about the forward, our initial surprise was replaced with a feeling that it would have been a good move for the player and the East London club.
However, it is also understandable why Mauricio Pochettino would be unwilling to let the 31-year-old leave the South Coast.
Lambert was a mainstay of the Saints' rise from the depths of League One to the Premier League under former boss Nigel Adkins.
The Liverpool-born forward scored 21 goals to propel Southampton out of the third tier in the 2010-11 season, before adding a further 31 to his tally the following year as Adkins took the team into the top flight.
It was some achievement, but it didn't stop there for Lambert, and he added 15 more goals last season. That figure saw him finish level with Chelsea's Frank Lampard as the leading English goalscorer in the Premier League.
Such goalscoring did not go unnoticed, and England manager Roy Hodgson handed the striker a senior call-up in August for the friendly against Scotland.
The Southampton star stepped off the bench and promptly headed home the winner just three minutes after entering the play. This was genuine Roy of the Rovers territory (ask your parents).
However, the emergence of summer arrival Dani Osvaldo as the main striker has left Lambert to cool his heels in recent weeks, and the England international was benched for the recent matches against Chelsea and Manchester City.
Lambert has scored only four times in the Premier League this season and has not hit the back of the net since the win over Hull on Nov. 9.
Allardyce is desperately seeking a goal threat for his team to boost the Hammers' survival hopes in the second half of the campaign. With record signing Andy Carroll sidelined throughout the current season with a foot injury, the Upton Park club have been shorn of firepower.
Ravel Morrison is the club's leading goalscorer in the Premier League this season. He has scored three times in the league.
Allardyce still believes in Carroll, comparing him to West Ham as being akin to Manchester City losing Sergio Aguero or Alvaro Negredo, as Ben Burrows of the Daily Mirror reported.
But he cannot wait forever, and Lambert represents an excellent choice of replacement.
The Southampton forward will also have an eye on the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil, a dream which may fade and die on the sidelines at St Mary's.
Believability Meter: High
Two plus two usually adds up to four, and Allardyce targeting Lambert bears all the hallmarks of a good trade for both. However, the obstacle to this remains Southampton and Pochettino.
The Saints are flying high at the moment, and the manager wants to maintain that momentum. A drop in form or injury for Osvaldo will need cover, which is exactly what Lambert offers.
But for a man who has made his way from journeyman striker to England match-winner, the chance to feature in a World Cup will be stronger than for most players.
If Osvaldo remains the main man at St Mary's into next month, expect a strong interest from the Hammers.