Damon Savenelli pays tribute to Lucas Leiva with the Brazilian recently celebrating 10 years on Merseyside.
It has been 10 years since Lucas Leiva arrived at Anfield. Just a skinny, long-haired Brazilian, Lucas arrived from Brazilian side Gremio for just £5 million back in 2007. 10 years and over 300 appearances later, and Lucas still sports the red of Liverpool with great pride.
You see, Lucas is a rare breed. In the modern era of football, it is rare to find a player so loyal to a club. I am talking about the Francesco Totti’s of football. The guys who would have cities renamed after them if possible. With transfer records being smashed, ridiculous wages being offered, and players leaving for the far east in search of cash, it is nice to sit back and just appreciate Lucas Leiva.
Lucas made his first appearance for Liverpool in November of 2007. One of many of Rafa Benitez’s class signings, Lucas was the first ever Brazilian to score for Liverpool when he scored back in 2008 during an FA Cup match. Lucas then went on to team up with some of the best midfielders that the club has ever seen.
Steven Gerrard, Xabi Alonso, and Javier Mascherano comprised the star-studded engine room during Lucas’s early days. Lucas often provided back up and usually came on as a sub during his first few seasons.
The midfielder also battled through some injury issues during the middle stages of his Liverpool career but he eventually bounced back and found himself to be a regular in the starting 11. By the 2013/14 season, Lucas was a regular starter and did his fair share to help the Reds charge for the title.
In the past few years, Lucas has seen his playing time limited. Having just turned 30 this past January, some could argue that Lucas may be past it. Yet again, he has continued to prove his worth to the club time and time again.
Having recently provided some crucial assists for Liverpool as the hunt for top four continues, Lucas has provided some help in the midfield during our injury issues. With Adam Lallana and Jordan Henderson both missing multiple weeks, Lucas has been able to provide some cover in that area. Lucas has also filled in at centre back when needed.
In my opinion, Lucas still has a role to play at Liverpool. He has recently shown that he can still compete at the top level and provide some much-needed depth when needed. I think there are many other players that need to be shipped out first *cough* Adam Bogdan *cough*.
Lucas has been linked with a move away from Anfield for a season or two now, particularly to Turkey.
We all know that Klopp has a ruthless side to him so if he were to sell Lucas I would not be too shocked. I would love to see him stay at Anfield for another year or two. When he does eventually leave, I hope he picks up a coaching role, similar to what Steven Gerrard has done.
For always being a true professional and giving your all for the club, here’s to you, Lucas Leiva.