30 Aug 2015

Inside Info? Molby insists 'outstanding' £60k-a-week midfielder 'wants to play for Liverpool', but will leave if pushed

It's been a mixed week for Lucas Levia. After being ignored for the first two league games, the Brazilian made a triumphant return to the starting line-up against Arsenal, but then, despite his presence today, West Ham scored three goals at Anfield to derail Liverpool's creditable start to the season. Last season, Lucas publicly made clear on several occasions his frustration with life at Anfield, and over the summer, the Reds were willing to 'listen to offers' for the midfielder. After all that, what is Lucas's state of mind? Does he want to stay, or is there a chance that he'll jump ship before the transfer window closes on Tuesday?

In his column for the Liverpool Echo this week, Reds legend Jan Molby slammed the idea of selling  'outstanding' Lucas, and insisted that Rodgers can 'rely' on him. The Dane also appeared to divulge a little inside-information about Lucas's intentions. He noted:

"I know he [Lucas] wants to stay in Liverpool and play for Liverpool but if he has to make another decision it will be with a heavy heart that's for sure".

To me, this sounds as if Molby has talked with Lucas about his situation at Liverpool, and it appears that the 28-year old wants to stay at the club, and will only leave if Rodgers gives him no choice, i.e. by keeping him on the sidelines.

Lucas is a great player to have in the squad. He's experienced, and professional, and with humble, amiable, nature - and total lack of mercenary attributes - he basically embodies everything that's good about Liverpool.

However, if Rodgers had actually done his job and signed a dedicated defensive midfielder at any point over the last 3 years, the this situation wouldn't even be an issue.

Lucas would have a simple choice: be a squad player, or leave, and as harsh as that sounds, the team has to come before the individual, and the Brazilian is eminently upgradeable. Unfortunately, there are no other defensive midfielders in the squad, which means Liverpool arguably have no choice but to hold onto Lucas.

If Lucas [reported salary: £60k-a-week] decides to leave, and Rodgers doesn't sign a replacement, there is, however, one obvious solution to consider: Convert Milner into a defensive midfielder.

* Rodgers insists on playing him centrally, and now that he's vice-captain, Rodgers has no choice but to play him in most games, so...why not just make Milner the club's dedicated DM?

* It's pointless having Milner and Henderson together, either sharing the DM role, or playing ahead of a DM, as both are too similar, and both have poor goalscoring records in the league.

* Simple solution: turn Milner into a DM. If that happens, I'd probably become his biggest fan, as he has all the attributes to do well in that role. Plus, there's be no expectation on him to regularly score/create goals.

* This change will allow Henderson to play further forward, and allow another dynamic, attack-minded player to operate alongside him (Teixeira, perhaps?)

To be honest, I'd rather not have Milner at all, but if he must be in the team every.single.game, then DM is where is should play. He already spends most of his time defending, hassling, pressing, running etc, so why not make it official?

And let's be honest, Liverpool will lose nothing in attack by converting Milner.

For me, it's a no-brainer. If Milner wants to play centrally, then play him centrally...as a DM.

Author: Jaimie K


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