Jurgen Klopp is likely to make major changes to his squad in the coming weeks and a few players’ futures are in doubt. This list also includes Brazilian midfielder Lucas Leiva. Lucas’ future at the club is uncertain with the player suggesting that he might leave the club this summer. Here is a brief account of Lucas’ time at Anfield so far.
Lucas has been at Liverpool since the summer of 2007, when he signed as a highly rated young midfielder from Gremio for 5 million pounds. Lucas had a very tough start to life at Liverpool and he was even booed during the 2008/09 season. But he overcame all those problems well and has become a dependable and mature player over the seasons. Lucas was named Liverpool’s player of the year for the 2010-11 season.
Last season though, Lucas did not make appearances on a regular basis. Under Klopp, Lucas’ opportunities were limited. With Jordan Henderson, Emre Can and James Milner ahead of him in the pecking order, Lucas could not make it to the first team frequently. Injury to Henderson meant Lucas did make certain appearances as a defensive midfielder and was quite impressive. Also, last season, there were certain defensive issues and so Klopp had also used him as a centre back. But that was a short term change.
Klopp has signed Schalke’s centre back Joel Matip to bolster his defense. In the midfield, Lucas will face competition from Emre Can, James Milner, Jordan Henderson and Joe Allen. And all are ahead of him in the pecking order. Klopp has also signed Marko Grujic from Red Star Belgrade and is expected to complete the transfer of Piotr Zielinski at the end of the EURO 2016 finals. All these situations indicate that chances of Lucas making it to the starting eleven are very thin.
Lucas is Liverpool’s longest serving player in the current squad. He has so far made 315 appearances for the Reds in all competitions. Lucas has had 9 productive seasons at Liverpool and has been quite impressive. At 29, Lucas is at his peak and not getting regular game time would affect his fitness and consistency. He should look for a club where he can end his career on a high. Lucas has suggested that he wishes to stay in Europe and primarily in England. And any good club will not mind having Lucas in their squad as he brings experience and stability to the squad. At Liverpool, Lucas’ chances will be very limited and he should join another club.