20 Aug 2015

Snubbed: 57% of fans reject Liverpool transfer plan for 'outstanding' £8m star (Site Poll)

After an alleged bust-up with Reds boss Brendan Rodgers, Lucas Leiva is seemingly on the outs at Anfield, but what do Reds fans think about the prospect of losing the club's longest serving player?

Last week, the Liverpool Echo claimed:

* Liverpool are willing to listen to offers for £8m-rated Lucas.

* Lucas - hailed in March by Jordan Henderson as 'outstanding' - was upset by the Stoke snub and is now 'considering his options'.

Rodgers also left Lucas out of the squad for Monday's 1-0 victory over Bournemouth, which suggests that the Brazilian is not currently in his plans.

A few days ago, I conduced a poll on the site asking fans whether Liverpool are right to considering dumping Lucas. The results:

Clearly, Lucas retains a lot of support amongst the Liverpool fanbase. Reds legend Mark Lawrenson also wants the midfielder to stay, and in a recent column for the Liverpool Echo, he mused:

"He [Lucas] is solid if unspectacular, but most teams need a player like that, even the top ones. There’s surely no chance Liverpool will let him go".

To be honest, I'd rather see Joe Allen leave. Unlike Allen - who is a man without a position - Lucas offers something specific to the team, and he's one of the few remaining players in the squad with significant Champions League experience.

Additionally, the Brazilian is a model professional, and a refreshing antidote to the avaricious mercenaries currently plaguing football.

Crucially, Lucas is the only dedicated defensive midfielder in Liverpool's first-team squad, and unless he's replaced, it's madness to sell just because of a personality clash with Rodgers.

If it was down to me, Lucas would be one of the first names on the team-sheet, for the following reasons:

* Henderson and Milner are not defensive midfielders, and without a dedicated DM in the team, they spend too much time doing defensive work, which mutes their attacking impact.

* Proof of this is the fact that Milner and Hendo have created only 3 chances in 180 minutes of football this season.

* With Lucas in the team protecting the back four, Milner and Hendo are freed up to spend more time attacking, and at least one of the two can fully focus on scoring/creating goals.

* Against Bournemouth, Milner spent most of his time defending in Liverpool's half. I'm not his greatest fan, but that is a total waste of the player's talents.

My preferred line-p with currently available personnel:

----------------- Mignolet

Clyne ------ Skrtel --- Lovren ----- Gomez

----------------- Lucas

--------- Hendo -------- Milner

---------------- Coutinho

------- Firmino

---------------- Benteke

Some fans will argue for Emre Can in midfield, but against Bournemouth, he had another chance to impress in midfield, but had little impact. Plus, he's not a DM!

Give Lucas a run of games, and he will prove his worth, and the biggest positive will be freeing up the rest of the midfield to concentrate on having a more attacking impact.

It'll be interesting to see how Rodgers approaches the Arsenal game on Monday. If the manager has any sense, he will play Lucas, and put Can in Hendo's position. However, I fully expect to see something along the lines of this:

------------------- Can

------------ Milner --- Lallana

--------- Coutinho ------ Ibe

---------------- Benteke

Rodgers is stubborn, and I wouldn't put it past him to play Lallana out of position, and continue ignoring Lucas.

Author: Jaimie K


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