Liverpool legend and current Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher has urged Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers to give Lucas Leiva a starting role for Reds and insisted that they cannot afford to lose 28 yaer old Brazilian defensive midfielder.
The midfielder was not part of the squad in Liverpool’s 1-0 win over Stoke City in the opening game of the season and with Serie A clubs Juventus and Inter Milan interested in signing him, the Reds legend believes that Liverpool have a job on their hands to keep the player at Anfield beyond the end of the transfer window.
Lucas is one of Liverool’s longest serving players in the current squad. He joined the Merseysiders from Gremio in 2007 but never became a regular starter. Despite having some brilliant seasons at Anfield, the regista has seen himself not as a part of Brendan Rodgers’ first team squad.
The Liverpool Player of the Year in 2010-11 season had suffered some serious injuries after the spectacular season at Anfield but he always stayed loyal to his employers fighting for a place.
The Reds have Jordan Henderson and James Milner in midfield but the former defender does not consider them suited for a defensive midfield role. Emre Can is capable of playing in that position but Carragher believes that the German is still young and Lucas’ experience in midfield should give him the edge over the 21-year-old.
Carragher believes that the Brazilian is very particular about his position in the team and leaving it out will push him to consider a move elsewhere, especially with a few viable options like Juventus and Inter already at his disposal. His opinion is backed by another legend Jan Molby who wants the club to give him another chance given the plethora of injuries they are dealing with at the moment.
“It’s his decision whether he leaves the club or not, more so than the club’s. I know Lucas well and he doesn’t take too kindly to not playing,” Carragher said, as quoted by the Mirror.
“I do think it’s difficult to find a place for him in the team at the moment. I think Emre Can has to be next in line, ahead of Lucas, because of the age difference [Lucas is 28, Can is 21] and the feeling within the club that he’s a classy player with a big future.
“I think he would be the better option now because [even if] he’s not ideally suited yet to the holding midfield role, he’s a good young player so you want to keep him involved and keep him happy by giving him games.”
Carragher revealed that he was surprised that Liverpool never competed for a defensive midfielder this summer, in spite of bringing in seven players to compete for a place in the top four.
“I’m surprised they never tried to get one [a defensive midfielder] in the summer. I look at Jordan Henderson and James Milner as a midfield two and they’ve got great energy and I like both players. I think they’ll both get goals, but neither is that defensive minded. I think that might cause a problem in the coming weeks,” he added.