Lucas Leiva left Liverpool last summer to join Lazio on a free transfer and has excelled during his time in Italy.
Under Jürgen Klopp, Lucas was a utility player and played a number of positions but wasn’t offered very many minutes in his favoured holding midfield role, with his mobility seen as an issue.
Since joining Lazio, however, the Brazilian has excelled and has even scored a few goals, scoring nearly as many as he did at Liverpool in one year with Lazio.
Speaking to Liverpool’s official website, Lucas updates Reds on how the past 12 months have been for him.
When asked about life at Lazio, Lucas replied: “I’m enjoying it very much. The season so far has been very good for me and I’m really happy. I came here with the desire to play games and have a new experience and it has been a fantastic season so far for me.
“Also with the weather, a new experience, a new language, I think it has been a very positive season for me.”
On starting a new adventure away from Liverpool, a club he spent most of his career at, the Brazilian said: “Yes, of course. It wasn’t easy to leave Liverpool because Liverpool is my home, I would say, because I was there for 10 years.
“My kids were born there and I still have a lot of friends there so it wasn’t an easy decision, but I had to think about my career as well and what I wanted. I started to realise that maybe my role in the team was a little bit more off the pitch than on it.
“At my age, I wanted to keep playing and keep enjoying it. That’s why I think it was the right choice to move and find a new experience as well. The Italian league has been good this year, very competitive, and Lazio [have been] doing well so it has been great.”
Luis Alberto, signed under Brendan Rodgers, has also done a fine job at Lazio and Lucas spoke glowingly of the Spaniard, saying: “I’m really happy for Luis because he arrived at Liverpool very young and probably didn’t have the opportunity that he wanted, but it was a difficult moment for him there.
“He then went to play on loan for a few clubs in Spain and then last year when he arrived at Lazio he played not so many games, but this year he has been very important.
“He is one of our main players in terms of assists and also he is scoring a lot of goals, important goals, so football sometimes surprises in players who maybe at some clubs didn’t have a big opportunity but here he is doing really well and we just hope he keeps doing that for next year as well.”
Liverpoolfc.com’s Chris Shaw asked Lucas how many goals he scored in his 10 years at the club, to which he replied: “Seven.”
When asked how many he’d scored in 10 months at Lazio, he replied: “Four goals! To be honest, I’ve been working on this. I remember Klopp as well, he said a few times to me I could score a few goals.
“But it was something in my head that was blocking me and I had a different perception. I always felt that if I went too much forward then maybe I would leave my teammates not protected.
“So I started to work on this here and with the confidence with games you start to, I wouldn’t say take more risks, but go a bit more forward and measure the risk without leaving the team exposed.
“So it has been happening, four goals this season, my best [goalscoring] season since I left Brazil with some assists as well, so that shows with confidence, with games and work, I think you can always improve.”