Mark Lawrenson has, as ever, been discussing all the major talking points of the week from a Liverpool perspective and the five time league title winner has some interesting thoughts on current Reds midfielder Lucas.
The Brazilian has been heavily linked with a move away from Anfield after missing out on the squad for last Sunday’s Premier League opener away at Stoke City, with Sky Sports reporting that we are open to offers.
Lawrenson has admitted to mixed feelings over the decision to put Lucas up for grabs. Like many Liverpool fans, he has pointed out that the 28-year-old is the only natural holding player in our squad, although he admits that our new-look team just might not be able to accommodate him.
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With Jordan Henderson, James Milner, Emre Can and Joe Allen already vying for the spots in midfield, Lawrenson reckons that Lucas could be the unlucky man to miss out – and says that he doesn’t expect a replacement to be coming in should he choose to go.
“Brendan Rodgers clearly believes there is no need for a dedicated defensive midfielder in his squad any more,” said Lawrenson in his Liverpool Echo column.
“If Lucas leaves, I wouldn’t expect Rodgers to move for a replacement. It would seem a little pointless, really. Why not actively keep Lucas if that’s the case? To be honest, I’m a little surprised he is being allowed to depart given the volume of games we may face this season.
“Perhaps Rodgers believes that with Jordan Henderson, James Milner and Emre Can jostling for position, he has sufficient options. Then there is Joe Allen. Clearly, it’s more about what players can do with the ball rather than their destructive qualities.”
As for whether Lucas could still have a part to play in our squad, Lawrenson admits it could be difficult, especially considering the injury problems he endured towards the back-end of last season.
“Lucas would appear to be the victim of a shift in the way the game is going at present. And, if you look at Liverpool last season, it wasn’t the defending that was the massive problem – it was the attacking. We didn’t score enough goals, and maybe Rodgers believes Lucas just doesn’t offer enough in an attacking sense.
“Maybe Lucas is just beyond his peak. He has been a great servant for Liverpool but, in the last few years, has had some serious injuries. He is a player who needs to be at optimum fitness to be at his best, and it could just be that if you go through what Rodgers needs, Lucas has more crosses than ticks now.”
It looks as if there is to be any further movement from Liverpool in the transfer window then it will definitely be from players going out, rather than coming in.