It’s incredible how one game can alter perspectives and how one game can be a reminder of what particular players can offer this club.
Lucas Leiva was outstanding in Saturday’s Merseyside derby win over Everton. It was without a doubt the best he has played in months and a refreshing flashback of just how effective he has been as a holding midfielder in the past.
A trio of himself, Emre Can and Gini Wijnaldum worked perfectly and provided the muscle, work rate and the attacking quality that over-powered and out-played Everton from start to finish.
Reports suggesting the Brazilian could be on his way out of the club at the end of the season have understandably been greeted with uncertainty and caution by Reds. The last couple of seasons haven’t been straight forward for Lucas and his playing time hasn’t been regular but nobody has ever been able to truly justify selling him. He is not only too popular but too experienced and therefore too valuable to let go of so easily.
Former Liverpool striker John Aldridge has praised the 30-year-old and believes the club should keep hold of him.
“Lucas is an easy target when things go wrong but for me he’s a perfect squad player. He was playing in his correct position on Saturday. He’s not a centre half but he’s done a really good job there in the past,” he wrote in his column for the Liverpool Echo.
“It went wrong against Leicester but it wasn’t his fault. the back four wasn’t protected. He didn’t play well but neither did the others.”
“In that position he played on Saturday, it’s never a problem. He loves the city, he loves the club, our longest serving player, he does charitable works in the city and as a squad player you’ll get no-one better.”
“It’s just a pity he doesn’t play as many games as he’d like to because I think if we get Champions League he’s a player we’ve got to keep.”
The derby was proof there is still plenty of fight in Lucas and yet another sign that he can be the perfect role model for those around him to look towards. He knows what it means to wear the shirt and that makes him important.