5 May 2009

Lucas Leiva: Why Liverpool could regret losing him

Much maligned midfielder Lucas Leiva is apparently on his way out of Anfield, and it seems that most Liverpool fans would be happy with that...but not Chris Severs, who argues that losing the Brazilian could be a blow for Liverpool.

By pulling statistics from the same source as a Daily Mail writer I can tell you that 95% of Liverpool fans either do not support Lucas or at best will wish him well in leaving Liverpool this summer.

I have to confess that I find myself in that lonely 5% of rebels who want him to stay. I feel that throughout the season he’s been made a scapegoat for a lot of the teams’ failings and I’ve always found that unfair. Watching him become the victim of booing at Anfield when coming on as a sub this season seemed to be the lowest point.

I think firstly we have to look into the reasoning behind the attitude towards Lucas. In my eyes there is only one reason, expectation. Fans expect a lot, our fans expect a lot and sometimes they expect too much too soon.

When Lucas signed for £6 million from Gremio I think we fooled ourselves with the price tag and the expectancy that is thrust onto young players in the Premiership, especially on those coming from Brazil.

Lucas’ reputation in Brazil was very promising; he was a bit of a fan favourite and his performances in the Campeonato made him the youngest ever winner of their Player of the Year award (Bola de Ouro).

Sometimes, with players like Cesc Fabregas and other gems we see players accelerate to the top quicker than expected. If they can stay there then that is testament to the ability of the player. However, with some players, patience is the most important virtue fans can have.

Over the years, many promising young players have burst onto the scene and their star have burned brightly for a while, before fading fast and ultimately disappearing into relative obscurity.

Micah Richards is a prime example – after making a splash last season, rumours of ridiculous bids and massive clubs chasing him were everywhere; this season he’s been a shadow of his former self, City have been shipping goals and he has looked clueless.

In the opposite corner and keeping with the blue side of Manchester we have Stephen Ireland. Virtually anonymous as a youth player to neutrals and in the 2007-2008 season his tally of 4 goals wasn’t prolific.

Now he’s scored 13 and has caught the eye of everyone. He was very unfortunate to miss out on the PFA Young Player of the Year award in my eyes but he seems to have suddenly come of age.

I feel like the same thing can happen with Lucas. Signed as a holding midfielder Lucas has been played in various positions in the midfield. Never having a settled run in the side and constantly having different midfield partners, how can we really expect so much from him?

He’s scored 2 goals in the last month and his performances have gradually improved. Jeers and ‘here we go again’ chants have turned into mostly silent observation.

We have to be honest here - as fans we haven’t been good to him and I wouldn’t begrudge him wanting to leave here. At Gremio he scored 4 goals in his 1st full season, so we can’t expect a lot of goals from him here.

His style is one that’s very similar to how Andres Iniesta started off at Barcelona; often side to side passes that just keep the ball moving and retaining possession. Iniesta has now of course gone on to exceed all expectations that were placed on him and become one of the best players in the world.

I wouldn’t expect that from Lucas but I do truly see potential there. His assist for Gerrard up at Newcastle in the 5-1 rout was brilliant, any other player with a higher profile would have been showered in superlatives for weeks.

I’ve noticed two major strengths of Lucas’ are his heading ability and his positioning; anyone reading this that hasn’t noticed it should keep an eye out for it the next time he plays. For a slender lad of only 5’8 he has an exceptional timing to his jump, begrudgingly similar to Mr Cahill over the way.

An example was the finish against Newcastle on the weekend, (which was the moment I was waiting for to publish this article!). His ability to pick up space and ghost past people is one that we will see a lot more of I’m sure if he stays on next year.

It may be going against the grain here but I feel like we’d regret losing Lucas. The competition for places at Liverpool is so tough - a relative rookie like him has to compete with Gerrard, Mascherano and Xabi Alonso, which must be intimidating for someone coming to a foreign league with a completely different style of play.

Lucas has played 23 times so far this season and he should be happy with that. I feel if we had Gareth Barry in the mix then we might lose the delicate balance we have with players wanting time on the pitch. Plus, it's a world cup year next year and big time players will want regular games, which means 40+ a season!

I feel keeping an improving Lucas - who seems happy to be a squad player is also well liked around Melwood - would be a good decision for Rafa.

When the dust settles on this season, I hope we can look back and appreciate what Rafa is building here. He knows more about the club today than anyone; he knows the direction and if he sees something in Lucas Leiva then I’ll support him to the hilt. I think that anyone who puts on the red shirt should be given our full support especially when they give it their all.

This article in support of Lucas may seem controversial but I hope in time I’ll be proven right. A lot of people fell into the trap of seeing £6million + Brazilian = Winner. There’s a lot more sums to put into that equation I’m afraid. Chants of ‘Lucas Leiva the Savior’ I doubt will ever come, but I do hope he makes a lot of us eat humble pie in the next couple of years.

Go on my son!


Enter email to receive updates


  1. Lucas won't be missed. He might do well in a different league but Liverpool won't regret selling him.

  2. I'm in that lonely 5% club too :)

    Lucas has been made a scapegoat for Xabi, SG and masch on numerous occasions this season and some sound performances were generally overlooked at times.

    I think he has qualities and could be a useful squad member but midfield isn't exactly thread-bare and if the pool have to sacrifice him to bring in more attacking quality, it's a justifiable decision.

  3. Sorry I don't agree. I think it was a disgrace that some idiots booed him. We're Liverpool fc and we have diffrent standards than other teams and that is something we just don't do. However, the problem with Lucas is that he has no attributes which is so important in the premiership. He is not fast, he doesn't have and eye for goal, He is not a great passer nor tackler or dribbler. He is competent at everything but special at nothing. I personally think he is far better suited to Italian or spanish football.

  4. I agree entirely with the article. He always gives his all and has not been given a run of games. What I like about him is that he is a willing squad member and always looks happy. It's good to have players of his ilk. You can't have 7 or 8 £20m worth midfielders in your squad as it would cause unrest.

  5. My opinion of Lucas is that I think he is an ok player. He more often than not gives the simple pass hence does not give the ball away very often.

    However, at our football club, for someone who is 22 and potentially the next generation, we need more than that. He does not have a "stand out" ability - he is just average at all the midfield attributes.

    I see Lucas as someone who is stopping Jay Spearing from the 4th choice centre mid berth and, having watched Jay's progression in the reserves this season and his cameo performance against Real, I think he is a better alternative to that role.

  6. I like him. His positioning and short passing are excellent and he's very athletic. He's also grown physically a lot this season which should help him next. In my opinion he just needs more drive and confidence.

  7. From his first appearance I started to track Leiva closely. After his first few appearances I had a suspicion he gave the ball away far too often to play for LFC, especially in mid-field. However, loathe to jump to conclusions about a player I was pleased to we'd signed I decided some objectivity was in order. For the following games I kept a tally of what he did with the ball each time he received it.. After about 7 or 8 games I couldn't believe we were still playing him. At all. Ever. He was giving the ball away on average 72% of the time he received it.
    I wish him the best in his career and hope he does better in the future, but it shouldn't be for us and it shouldn't be in the Premiership.

  8. I agree, Lucas needs more than one season, and I'll be the first to admit that I have been frustrated at times with his performances but the lad can play,he's young and he'll get better, you don't often get Gerrard singing the praise of players who aren't good enough and I feel that if we hold onto him we will see a different player in seasons to come, besides he's playing in the best midfield in Europe and surely that is and will further improve his game. Keep him Rafa,don't lose faith in him now after playing him so much,experience is priceless.

  9. Great article and some sensible postings too! what a relief!

    I'm personally unconvinced with Lucas. I also believe that one of the reasons he is so unliked is because he is stopping the progress of Jay Spearing. I agree with the general sentiment that he seems to be ok at everything but not brilliant at any one thing.

    Maybe he needs more confidence, and again as mentioned gerrard doesn't just praise anyone. But if i was asked who i would want to come in if xabi or masch were injured and i could choose between lucas and barry, i'd choose barry everytime. I agree that lucas will perform better in a slower paced league like la liga. If you've noticed all his best games have come when the tempo of the game isn't particularly high.

  10. Lucas has the potential to be a mixture of Alonso and Gerrard. His passing is very good. He can pick a sublime through ball as has been witnessed on numerous occasions, and is getting better and better when attacking - surely he will only gain confidence from his goals, and confidence is a massive factor for some players.

    Keep Lucas and reap the rewards next season when he will come good.

  11. Lucas has been treated terribly at times, but at the end of the day he wont be missed. He's a good player who could be top class in Spain or Italy. he requires too much time on the ball and is a little off the pace for this country.

    Look on the positives, the hole left will either be filled by Barry, hopefully not at the expence of our player of the season Xabi, or Jay Spearing, who in my opinion has more potential to be successful for LFC than Lucas. Our club needs to get back to producing home grown talent again. Spearing and Darby deserve their chance to shine.

    1st thing 1st we in singapore r so ecstatic dat our beloved team r cumin 2our country..yes!!! we've been waitin for 8longs yrs since the last they were here owen led pool...fyi our red brothers in uk 65% football fans here r pool fans....2hell wit man u!!!by the way we cldnt agree any less wit regards 2lucas...sadly he wont b missed big time...week in week out weneva we c his name on the teamsheet we'd b cursin n swearin...but still we don condone booing at own own red though..i dun tink dats hw LFC works rite...at the same time we 2b brutally honest & realistic i don tink he deserve 2b wearin dat jersey...sorry guys he may be gd but we doubt he's gd enuff 4pool though....YNWA...

  13. lucas is useless

  14. I also feel he has been treated unfairly at times this season. When playing alongside either Mascherano or Alonso with Gerrard in front of him, he looks a decent enough player with a good work rate and ball retention and every now and again a good run to get himself a header or shot on goal.

    However, unfortunately it is when Gerrard is not playing I believe he gets a bit of the crowds flak for the drop in creativity that comes when we are without our captain. He doesn't have the change of pace of Gerrard or his drive, doesn't have Alonso's capacity to spray a 50 yard pass on our wingers foot and isn't as tenacious as Masch in the tackle and timing of tackles.
    Consequently in games where Liverpool need a break through against the likes of Stoke and Fulham who defended very deep an air of frustration builds as we're used to that drive from the centre of midfiled from Gerrard. It is unfair to expect Lucas to be a direct replacement, for me when he plays (especially with Masch) when Gerrard is not playing the wingers should play higher up the pitch as he is there to cover for them.

    As has been said he is good at a lot of things but not outstanding at any one, but then again the young Roy Keane was a bit like that (I'm not saying he is in his class, but he is showing promise considering he is what 22?). For me unfortunately he has come in when we have three outstanding central midfield players in Alonso, Masch and Gerrard who fingers crossed will be here for the next 4 years. I believe he should be allowed to go or loaned out (preferably Premier League). Spearing deserves a chance and he does bring something different to Alonso and Masch in his driving runs and play further up field that would be closer to Gerrards game.

  15. Completely agree with everything said in this article. He is a great squad player with a huge amount to offer. His attitude is amazing, he just want to play and wants the ball all the time.
    He makes so many important headers and challenges that go unnoticed. He rarely has to sprint 40yards and make a spectacular slide tackle, al la Masca because is positioning is so good.
    We are spoilt in the midfield at Liverpool and Lucas is without doubt 4th choice, but an important player none the less.

    I hope he stays

  16. I am not a fan of Lucas, but surely it is a shame to hear fans booing the guy... Though Lucas is not brilliant, he does give his all on the pitch.. and yes, before reading the article i was sure that his performance at St James Park this year wud have been mentioned....his pass was ingenious.... In any case, I would still want to sell him, but with a clause that Liverpool has the First choice to buy him back or not... In spain he might be great, but Premier league is another world! All da best lucas, u deserve our respect and please those who are booing are not footballer to understand its difficult the premier league....go to spain for two years and come back! From Mauritius

  17. Sorry man, you 're completely wrong. Lucas is a waste of space... He has been a huge disappointment and failed to live up to his early signs he first showed on his arrival at Anfield. Rafa has been extremely patient with him, given him every opportunity and all he was repaid with was a player who seem to have the inability to time a tackle and have little impact going forward, he is a passenger out there and hardly the ideal replacement for Alonso or Mascherano when they are out of the side.

    I'm pleased that Rafa is clearly taking the firm action in trimming the squad as it is much needed and getting rid of the mediocrity, which in truth Benitez has accumulated over the years, is certainly a step in the right direction. They will also bring in a nice bit of resource too which can be spent on bringing more established players in who can hit the ground running at the football club.

  18. In my opinion, he loses the ball too many times to the opponent players. Someone should do an analysis on how many goals we have conceded this season due to his positioning or lack of intervention. And also on how we seem to lack a potent attacking flow everytime he plays.

  19. lucas like many newplayers needs time. i donot know why they are not trained in the reserves likethe old days, to learn the liverpool way. before killing there confedence, at first team level. i agree the fans who boo him are crap but i too think that spain might be better for him. and spearing does deserve a chance, all in all if he stays thats fine, just give him time and he will come good. remember ian rush? he could not hit a barn door when he first come,and nearly left. the rest is history..

  20. I don't agree - he has one special talent which is to give away pointless free kicks...actually, one of his pointless and totally unnecessary fouls led to a penalty and us dropping two points that we could really do with right now...yes, he is not the only one that gives away free kicks, but it seems to be the only thing he does when he comes on...that and giving the ball away...and perhaps every once in a while he does play well or does something useful, but not often enough for me...I cringe every time I see him come on or be included in the starting 11...I put him in the same bracket as Dossena, Aurelio - mediocre and not good enough to be representing Liverpool...that said - I would give him another season and see if he improves - he is still young so you never know.

    I also think Chris gives him too much credit for his goal at Newcastle - he didn't need to find any space - newcastle gave him and two other Liverpool players all the space they needed - my grandmother could have scored that goal!

  21. I just watched mr Lucas on you tube he looked an incredible attacking midfielder! I think he was top scorer in brazil in his final season there.

    I wonder how gerrard would play being asked to only hold midfield and not get forward. answer...He'd struggle, just like lucas has. From the looks of it, playing def mid is totally unatural to him, as it is with Gerrard. What we need to do is let him play off the striker ala Gerrard (when Gez is Rested) and let him get back to making runs into the box and scoring goals.

  22. I imagine he was probably made a scape goat by Sky or the Mirror at some point, and a lot of 'fans' jumped on the bandwagon, spreading the word via viral forums to others who are lacking in the ability to muster up an opinion of their own.

    Personally I like him. More importantly, and as you have so correctly pointed out, nobody knows better than Rafa as regards what is best for our current set up. Support the team, not just the players you think are worthy.

  23. I agree, we have to give the guy a chance! he is still young, and is a good squad player. He is happy to be a squad player. I have been told from a good source from the club, xabi is on his way out this summer, so barry will be comming in. so we cannot afford to sign two midfielders of the same price tag. give lucas time, he will improve, rafa sees something in him, so im with rafa. whatever rafa decides goes!

  24. Let's not become delusional here now. You can't tell me or any of the other 95% that Lucas isn't a LIABILITY. And when you have a liability in your team, especially in the middle, it is a weakness, an area that teams will exploit. To be frank, he's just not good enough for Liverpool...he might be for West Brom but not Liverpool in a million years. If you look back to the 'fringe' midfielders in the past, i.e. the Zendens, the Hammans, the Smicers, they offered more to liverpool and were not, most importantly, liabilities. Lucas is.

  25. Get real people will you. Lucas emulating Fabregas? you're 'avin a laff!

    the point above is spot on. Look at United's midfield....do you see a weak point? Do you? The answer is quite resoundlingly, no.

  26. I am also within that 5% who want to give Lucas more time. In part because the time needed to settle into a world class midfield as a young player will, and should be expected, to be a season or two, longer if not getting that much needed run of games.

    That however is not the reason for the post, I am surprised by the number of posters who refer to Lucas “blocking” Spearings development. While I am not one of those who is dogmatic in the “trust the manager” stance (too many examples of Babel playing a stinker on the left with Kuyt doing the same on the right – though it looks as if Kuyt is growing into the position) do any of us believe that if Rafa thinks Spearing is a better bet for that place then he won’t play him? My gripes about wingers being wingers first and foremost and playing on the same flank as their strongest foot aside, Rafa has always shown he is happy to follow what he believes is the right course. While this may bring in the likes of Barry (not better than three of the current four in Centre Midfield and at his age not an investment in the future, especially as it would mean having all the major components of our midfield at around the same age – a horror for future continuity) it also means that if Spearing is not getting in more often – then there is a reason for that and it cannot just be the “I signed him so he must be good” stance some managers take on their signings as Rafa has no worries about keeping Babel on the sidelines.

    It could be that Rafa feels he (Spearing) needs more time or, and this might get me a pasting, that Spearing’s great cameos aside, Rafa may have doubts about the consistency or overall end product from Spearing. While the last sentence is deliberately a bit provocative remember Guthrie? He was a player I had high hopes for and someone I thought we would regret selling to Newcastle, it looks like I will be proved wrong and Rafa right, as a result I wouldn’t bet against his decisions being proved right again (though I reserve the right to whinge about wingers!).

    Anyhoo that’s my two penneth.

  27. Those who still believe that Lucas should stay in the Liverpool team, then you are still living in the past...this year has seen Liverpool do something that hasn't been done in a long time...we've come closer to united than ever, we're now GENUINE TITLE CONTENDERS...not a bloody 5th placed team, so why on earth would you want a player like Lucas who is a clear liability in your team...that's just shooting yourself in the foot. I don't see any weaknesses in Chelsea's or United's midfield....class upon class. Who do we look to? Lucas.....ARE YOU SERIOUS?

    C'mon people,this is a new era that's dawning...there can only be room for quality....the difference between 1st and 2nd!

  28. I agree that foreign players need time to settle, but Lucas has had to 2 years and hasn't done much. He had a couple of decent games here and there, but is not consistent. It is hard when you're 4th choice, but N'Gog is also 4th choice and has looked decent in all of the matches he has played.

    Lucas gives the ball away too much and is a poor tackler; 2 qualities which are vital for a player in his position.

    While it is certainly possible that Lucas may go on to become a great player down the road, I think 2 years is enough time to show your worth and Lucas has not done that.

  29. Whoever said this is an idiot
    "For the following games I kept a tally of what he did with the ball each time he received it.. After about 7 or 8 games I couldn't believe we were still playing him. At all. Ever. He was giving the ball away on average 72% of the time he received it."

    What a load of crap, he probably gives the ball away the least as all he does is the simple pass. One reason for maybe not liking him is because hes not adventurous enough. I think hes a decent back up player, who seems ok about playing second fiddle to masch and alonso. I also don't agree to an extent with people about spearing. What would be the difference if Spearing instead of Lucas made a couple of mistakes earlier on in the season would he be forgiven because he's scouse. If benitez thought spearing was a better option than lucas he would play spearing. Not good enough yet. Watch me get slated for this now.

  30. I think Lucas is a good player and i think that is why Raff sold sissoko. He has been blamed for the lack lusture performaces, but he played well in the CL and has had quite a few games where he has stepped up to the plate. He is a great player with a few more season under his belt will only get better. I think some fans are a little too harsh. If raffa is going to cull the squad for money than Babbel Dosenna and maybe degen and vorin will be on the list first. Also Barry is ok but XA is the best for me

  31. He has to do more than just pass a ball backwards 5 yards to be a Liverpool player. He has made some strides but anytime he comes on the back of a good performance ie. Man U at Old Trafford and Chelsea at the Bridge in the Champions League he struggles in the game after.

    If he had more consistency I would welcome him to stay, he is still young. 2 seasons now since he joined, he has being used as a scapegoat at times rightly so and not. If manages to stay beyond this summer. Between August and December of next season will be big for Lucas Leiva's Liverpool career.

  32. i agree with the post.Lucas simply needs more time...that's all.He already has shown flashes of brilliance and I for one will be sad to see him go so soon.:-\

  33. I HAD been one of the 5%. Been defending him from unjust criticism all year.
    Unfortunately I just haven't seen any progress. He doesn't tackle, he is not a great defender, he has no pace, he doesn't score goals and while he's not a bad passer, he's not great either. I think he would blossom in a different league such as the Italian or Spanish leagues though.

  34. Sorry to say, but Lucas needs to go. I'm Brazilian and would love to see him do well, like Aurelio, but I really can't stand him with a Liverpool shirt and a ball at the same time. He does his defensive duties ok, and knows how to head a ball. But it's quite simple: He doesn't know what to do with it. You can see in his face the moment he gets the ball "What now?". And it's even worse when he has space to go forward, "What now? I can't pass it back or sideways, do I go forward with the ball? Really?" and he hesitates so much that any player just dispossesses him easily. Maybe in a smaller team he'll have the confidence to carry the ball and do whatever he wants with it. But Liverpool is too great for him. He can't stand the pressure.

    I suppose we could give him more time and support. It might work. I just think it's not worth the gamble, there are more attractive options to be tried.

  35. It is interesting that he looks just as bad as Juan Sebastian Veron did for united. There is no doubt Veron was a top class player, but he, like many south american centre midfielders, had been brought up with the expectation of time on the ball. As a result they look really, really bad when they come to the hussle and bussle of the premiership.

    Lucas is not suited to the premiership and we should sell him. I wouldn't replace him with a centre midfielder. We need more creativity on the flanks and a back up striker. Agger would be a great defensive midfielder if we had an injury crisis there and Rafa didn't fancy Spearing.

  36. Lucas may never set the footballing world on fire but I think that he is a good honest pro who should be given longer to develop and who definitely should NOT be subjected to abuse by his own supporters. As for Man U's! midfield, they didn't look too great when we stuffed them at Old Trafford! Lets face it, not all of our poorer performances this year were due to the personnel on the pitch, some surely had to be tactical. There seems to have been a sea-change in the approach to play, with much more aggressive and exciting displays, and more goals as a result. Just a pity we've got a bit leaky at the back......
    Lets see how he gets on in a more attack-minded team.
    We also need to keep hold of Xabi, he's class. Barry is overpriced, his only advantage being that he's English if quotas come in.
    Meanwhile, save your boos for the Yank owners!

  37. I'm right behind this article (well, mostly anyway) and I'm right behind this lad. He can become an excellent player for us and has proved a very valuable squad player too. I just hope some of the booing etc. hasn't meant that he wants to leave the club.

    Give him MORE time people.

  38. Good article, mate - Lucas does have quality, he just needs time and games to show and develop it. He's still young and learning - and who better to learn from than the Holy Trinity of Gerrard, Alonso & Mascherano ! He's certainly better than last season and, for me, has progressed more than Babel has, who's gone backwards (different position granted, but overall). Btw, Karim MB, yeah, Lucas does make the odd mistake (don't others !)and did concede the penalty against Wigan away. But I was at that game and Lucas was probably our best player that night - and when he made that rash challenge (for the pen) he was covering for Arbeloa, who'd gone awol ! Give the lad a bit more time I say.

  39. Finally somebody who speaks sense! Fantastic article, and one of the few people who arn't foolish and arrogant enough to believe that they know as much about football as the likes of Rafa Benitez, a man who has forgot more about the game than you or I will ever know. Although I do believe Lucas' form has been poor this seasson, the glimpses he's shown of his passing ability have been encouraging. His attitude it also impressive, more of a 'Dirk Kuyt' than a 'Ryan Babel'.
    As a player I see a lot of similarities with Real Madrid midfielder Fernando Gago, great eye for a pass when given the time to pick one out, but often sloppy when placed under pressure, as seen by both players at Anfield this season. If Lucas doesn't dramatically improve his use of the ball, which I believe he will, he is almost certain to blossom in Spanish or Italian football. Will he improve in the way that Dirk Kuyt has this season or fail to adjust in the way Morientes did?
    I know what I would find more satisfying, I just doubt most other 'Liverpool Fans' feel the same way.

  40. FIVE PERCENT-ER7:37 pm, May 05, 2009

    I agree with the article, the lad is a scapegoat. But he never goes hiding, always makes himself available box to box wing to wing. One wrong yellow card at woodison, and then sent off coupled with the defeat has made him a target. Granted at Wigan he should have stayed up, but he isn’t the only player to give away a soft pen. Also at Gremio he was more of an attacking midfield player, he is well worth another season he will only get better. FIVE PERCENT-ER

  41. Lucas has not lived up to his potential, that's just football. It happens all the time with alot of players and clubs. In my opinion we have a great talent in Jay Spearing and in light of Rafa needing Transfer funds I can see him move to Italy where it's a much slower game and it will give him more time on the Ball and this is where Lucas can be a great player. Bring on Spearing next season under the wing of Gerrard and see what happens. Spearing hasn't got much of a chance, if he had half the chances Lucas had we would have a new hero in the middle of the park!!!

  42. i want Lucas to stay...i might be with you in the 5% of fans that want him stay...he is 21 years old and he has talent...but some liverpool fans are not open-minded and do not like him...the guy is very good..yeah i remember that assist to gerrard in newcastle on saint james park which is amazing...i hope he stays to liverpool cauz he is not the one to blame for our faults this season....what about babel???who everyone regards him as a BIG talent??he is sh*t this year..LUCAS PLEASE STAY!!!

  43. Lucas might initially have fitted into RB defensive mindset, because he is that odd Brazilian that has no idea how to attack, but is a decent defensive midfielder. Luckily, RB seems to be realising that attacking is the way to win the league. We have Alonso, Macherano, Gerrard as first choise in the midfield positions. In my opinion, Spearing should be given the change to play and Lucas sold.

  44. Check this:


    Looks like he's going nowhere.

  45. what i know bout Lucas is, he got potential to improve and can do better if we give him more chance and time to play. i know, most of the supporter didn't like him. we don't want to think about what will happening today but,we think about future of the club. maybe Alonso can do better this year but if we think about next coming 3 years. where can we put him to play? on the bench??that nice. so who will play on his position???Think about it.

  46. I'm still undecided about Lucas, I cringe at some of the things he has done but then again the rest of the first team have had me crying with their mistakes. I believe that players like Carra and Stevie know more than I do and when they rate a player then they are seeing something that the rest of us have missed. Ultimately Raffa will do as he believes and who in their right mind can argue with him.

  47. Lucas is highly regarded in brazil.
    Brazil throughout history hav the best national record. To be highly regarded in brazil is no small task. he was captain of brazil U20 side
    i think it wud be hard for a young brazilian to adjust to the prem leage with all this pressure just thrust upon him. he has the makings of a good player with mixed performances. he lacks in confidence and i believe in time we will see a fantastic holding midfeilder with goal scoring and creating qualities

  48. Lucas fouls an opponent whenever he gets near them.

    22 may still be considered young I guess, but the game has moved on and if this "potential" does not realise itself even after a few years with a club, then I'm fearful it may never.

  49. Came as a youngster. Into a physically and mentally demanding setup. Competed for the most fiercely competed role at the club. And we wonder why his development seems slow.

    Perhaps its because we're now just used to demanding so much out of that position given Benitez has the entire formation built around it.

    It will take 3 years before Lucas can become a fully fledged midfielder at liverpool. Sadly liverpool fans don't have as much patience and perserverance like they used to.

  50. I completley agree with this article. Me being brasilian i was waiting for a fellow country man to play for lfc, and though he isnt the typical brasilian player (more spanish style than brasilian!) he has an amazing awareness in reading the game and positioning himself accordingly.

    If you watch him play he is always in a position to get a pass and his passing is a bit lateral but he keeps it simple and moves the ball along nicely.

    I think the one thing he needs to work on is his timing for tackles and better body protection when on the ball. I find he puts the right tackles in but mistimes them by nanoseconds!

    If you look at his stats his passing completion rate is always around 70% (thats similar to Xabi!). i think with time he could turn out to be a real gem with the style and flair seen today by the likes of iniesta.

    BE PATIENT (and give Babel more game time! he's quality!)

  51. I appreciate the article for the intelligent analysis and mature composition, however I disagree with the conclusion.

    I was, at first, excited when Lucas was signed having seen him play in the U20 tournament for Brazil. After two years, however, I have come to the conclusion that he may be best suited to a mid-table La Liga side. He is still young, but he takes to long on the ball and his passing seems more of a "I don't want to screw up" flavor than inspired. His tackling is also suspect and he fouls quite a bit. I think he simply needs a slower league to develop.

    I'm all for nurturing talent, but I think Liverpool can find a more finished article to provide back up to Alonso and Masch. Considering we may lose one of those players this year, I think it more wise to get a seasoned professional than a project for back up holding midfielder...and no, not Barry.

  52. Lucus has a very promising future. Would it not be worth keeping him from a business perspective, investing in him as he develops, and later selling him ???

  53. Maybe Lucas should go on loan somewhere while he develops a bit more.

  54. Yikalo Yohannes7:46 pm, June 14, 2009

    i find it hilarious how you critized ryan babel for saying that he needs time to progress into a good player and you are saying in this article to "be patient" with lucas

  55. Give him a bit more time. Next season I think we will se more of the best of him.
    On another note I find it disgraceful that Lucas has been booed by fans.
    Its NOT the Liverpool way.
    I have been there and witnessed it myself.
    I put it down to the younger generation of fans and this 'want it now'mentality.

  56. Only just found this post. Lucas has just had another bad game against Aston Villa.

    I'd still agree with this article. Lucas is still only 22. There are plenty of people crying out for Rafa to give the youth players a chance. He's giving Lucas a chance to develop, and getting slated for it.

    A few things I'd add as well. Lucas cost £6m, a reasonably big sum, but when you compare it to the £13m quoted for a 28/29 year old Gareth Barry last year, or the £20m for Aquilani, or £30m for Alonso, you can't be expecting him to be the finished article straight away.

    The Liverpool way used to be (a long time ago when I was a kid) to bring players in, let them learn the Liverpool way in the reserves for a year or 2 and then slowly introduce them. Look at Ian Rush's wikipiedia page, he's a classic example of this. Fans had patience in those days. Granted it helped we had a successful team at the time which afforded the patience. People need to have a little faith and look at all the figures. Lucas is 22, he's learning his trade, if by the time he hit's 24/25 he hasn't improved then yes, he was a waste of money, but give him a chance to learn.

  57. He is very good or his age, he's jut been thrown in at the deep end and has suffered from being managed by two bad managers.