Rafa Benitez has been doing a live question and answer session with The Athletic, and one of the subjects he was quizzed on was the players he has coached during his career that are not appreciated as much as they should be by supporters.
Newcastle United’s Paul Dummett was one who he picked out, but he also selected ex-Reds pair Lucas Leiva and Pepe Reina.
Lucas was a cult hero by the end of his time at Anfield, but certainly at the start he struggled having arrived from Brazil, and some fans quickly got on his back.
Benitez called the midfielder a “fantastic professional” and he was clearly someone who he enjoyed working with. By the end of his Reds career, Lucas was definitely getting the credit he deserved, but perhaps not while Benitez was at the club.
Reina, though, is a slightly more surprising selection. He was loved by Reds fans, and many would have taken him back this summer as a replacement for Simon Mignolet.
The Spaniard might have been underappreciated by fans of other clubs, but he was certainly highly valued at Anfield.