Liverpool’s longest serving player Lucas Leiva is more than happy to play as a defender instead of an anchoring midfielder, he’s confirmed.
The Brazilian arrived at the club almost eight years ago having played as a no.10 in his homeland with Gremio (believe it or not), but quickly developed as a holding midfielder under Rafa Benitez.
It was this position that he stayed under Roy Hodgson, Kenny Dalglish and Brendan Rodgers, but under current boss Jurgen Klopp – Lucas has moved back even further!
The German’s often selected Emre Can as the team’s starting defensive midfielder, and has used Lucas in central defence instead.
“This year has been a new role for me,” Lucas told Liverpoolfc.com. “I have played many games as a midfielder but [also] maybe five games as a centre-back.
“I enjoyed it. It’s a position where I think I have played well and in the future, we never know – I think I could do the job there again.”
In fairness, Lucas has been nothing short of exceptional whenever called upon in this role – especially in the League Cup Final against Manchester City – where he put in a particularly heroic performance.
However, with Martin Skrtel currently struggling to get in the team behind Mamadou Sakho and Dejan Lovren, Joe Gomez returning to fitness and Joel Matip already signed for the summer – it’s unlikely we’ll need Lucas at the back again.
In fact, Lucas’s chances of starting more games this term is looking slim, having picked up an injury while taking the penalty he missed at Wembley.
Can and Jordan Henderson have nailed down the central midfield spots, while with next season in mind, talented box-to-box man Marko Grujic is arriving as well.
Still, Lucas should stay at the club. His loyalty and work ethic is fantastic to have around.