10 Sept 2015

'I love' LFC: £60k-a-week midfielder confirms he came 'very close' to Liverpool transfer exit

Lucas Leiva is currently Liverpool's longest serving player, and according to Brendan Rodgers, he is also Liverpool's 'best defensive midfield player'. High praise indeed, but that didn't stop the Reds trying to sell Lucas, and the Brazilian has now revealed that he almost quit Anfield this summer.

Speaking to the Liverpool Echo this week, Lucas [reported salary: £60k-a-week] reiterated his 'commitment to the club', but added:

'I was very close to moving. When your future is in doubt, you have to think of another solution, but I'm happy that it didn't happen. I really love this club [and] hopefully, I'll be an important player this season."

If Lucas is genuinely Liverpool's 'best defensive midfield player', why did Rodgers want to sell him over the summer.

To be honest, that's not really as big a compliment as it appears. Lucas is the *only* senior DM at the club, so it obviously follows that he's the best.

It's like saying that Jordan Henderson is the 'best Liverpool captain at the club'. In other words, it means nothing.

Lucas clearly hopes to play regularly this year, but I get the feeling that Rodgers plays Lucas begrudgingly, rather than willingly.

At Arsenal and West Ham, the loss of Jordan Henderson forced Rodgers' hand, but if Henderson returns to action this weekend, I have absolutely no doubt that Lucas will be relegated to the bench .

The acid test will come when everyone is fit. If Rodgers still selects Lucas when Lallana, Hendo, Sturridge, and Coutinho are available, it'll show that his praise is sincere.

If, however, Lucas ends up on the bench, it'll be clear (IMO) that Rodgers praise for the Brazilian is hollow and meaningless.

After all, with Liverpool's ongoing defensive issues, why wouldn't you play the club's 'best defensive midfield player' in practically every game?

That said, the inclusion in the team of a dedicated defensive midfielder is not an infallible, catch-all solution. The West Ham game proved that, where, despite Lucas's presence, Liverpool conceded three goals sloppy goals. At home.

Liverpool (and Lucas) played well against Arsenal, though, and hopefully the team will replicate that performance at Man United this weekend.

Author: Jaimie K


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