Brighton & Hove Albion are looking to bolster their ranks after their confirmed Premier League promotion and Lucas Leiva could be set to join the new boys.
Yesterday marked 10 years since Liverpool signed a long-haired Lucas Leiva from Gremio for £5 million. The Brazilian has not only been loyal but he has fought to keep his place in the side under five different managers and has displayed impeccable spirit when on the pitch.
It has become something of an annual custom for Lucas to be linked with a move to Turkey, with Besiktas and Galatasaray continuously linked with his signature for the last three years.
The consistent uncertainty over Lucas’ future has had a lot to do with the lack of stability at the club in recent years. He had very little regular football in the last two years and is weighing up his options ahead of the summer transfer window.
According to The Mirror, this has sparked interested from Brighton and Hove Albion. The newly-promoted side needs to add some experience to their side and having played for Liverpool for 10 years, Lucas could provide that.
10 years ago today, Lucas Leiva signed for Liverpool. He’s a Scouser through and through. pic.twitter.com/LjAQeYZLo5
— Rousing The Kop (@RousingTheKop) May 11, 2017
Manager Chris Hughton is targeting “top-flight ready players” and Lucas’ current teammate Kevin Stewart could be a potential option as well. Stewart has been identified as an option but the 23-year-old doesn’t have as much experience as Lucas which would make the Brazilian more appealing to Brighton.
While Lucas has been on the peripheries at Liverpool in terms of game time, the Brazilian has grown into a leadership role at the club, being the longest-serving player on the books. Due to long-term injuries to Marko Grujic and Jordan Henderson, Lucas has been afforded more game time than he usually would have.
In fact, the former-Gremio midfielder has notched three assists in his last six games, per data from WhoScored. This stat has been used to mock Manchester United’s Paul Pogba who has the same number of Lucas all season – having played 1434 minutes more than the Liverpool man.
Back to Brighton’s interest in Lucas – at this stage there is nothing concrete, with Klopp set to hold talks with his defensive midfielder at the season’s close to decide what is best for both parties.
“I am getting to the stage of my career where I think I can help a lot, off the pitch of course, but on the pitch as well,” he said, according to This is Anfield.
“Playing time [will play a part], I wouldn’t like to just be around. I feel I have many years that I can still play at the top level.
“I need to analyse and see what is best for me and the club and then I am sure we will make a decision together.”
Personally, I’d love to see Lucas stay on next season and, given his clear leadership qualities, be allowed to ease into a coaching role as his playing career winds down. We’ll have more to report for you at the season’s end when talks have begun and concluded between Klopp and Lucas.