Lucas Leiva is confident that his Liverpool teammates will respond well to the loss of Raheem Sterling, following his move to Manchester City for an English record transfer fee of £49m (via BBC Sport).
The Brazilian believes that the departure of Sterling will be easy for us to deal with compared to that of former Liverpool striker Luis Suarez, who joined Barcelona in another big-money transfer last summer.
Suarez, who had just scored 31 goals in a Premier League season and won the PFA Player of the Year award, was replaced by Mario Balotelli and Rickie Lambert – who predictably failed to fill the void left by one of the best players on the planet.
In contrast, Liverpool have already signed Roberto Firmino to step into Sterling’s shoes, while Brendan Rodgers now has plenty of money to play with should he wish to bring in another couple of players as well.
“I think we can live with losing Raheem easier than we did when Suarez left,” Lucas explained.
“Suarez scored 30 plus goals for us. So I think it would be unfair to put Raheem in the same bracket. He is a young player, only 20 and has to develop. Of course, he was very important for us for two seasons. But Suarez is one of the best players in the world at this moment in time and he showed that with us.
“Raheem is probably one of the best young players around, but there is a gap between him and Luis. Now he has decided to move on and, as a club, things happen but the club feel that they got a good deal.”
We’re certainly pleased to see the back of Sterling following a lengthy transfer saga. Considering the media spotlight that Sterling constantly seemed to attract over the last six months, it seems only natural that the entire Liverpool squad will be equally pleased to be moving on and focusing on the new season without him.