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The importance of Lucas Leiva to Liverpool shows in his absence

It will be a short analysis from me today, and it will be of our defensive midfielder Lucas Leiva, whom has become a Kop idol over the last two years. A fantastic ball winner, and in light of his long absence, it is easy to forget how important this little lad with a big heart [...]

A fantastic ball winner, and in light of his long absence, it is easy to forget how important this little lad with a big heart is to Liverpool FC. He simply covers so much grass over the course of 90 minutes. Furthermore, his distribution and dribbling ability was consistently getting better, hence it was a bitter blow for Liverpool FC fans and players alike when the Brazilian suffered from a anterior cruciate ligament injury following his collision with Chelsea’s Mata in their Carling Cup encounter.

It hasn’t been easy for Lucas Leiva in his time with Liverpool FC so far. He lacked the support from the media and fans alike, and didn’t have the confidence, much like our new signings Jordan Henderson, Andy Carroll and Stewart Downing.

The reality is, for all of Jay Spearing’s passion and eagerness to impress, the Englishman has not been able to replicate the form that the Brazilian showed prior to his injury. In the 12 games Premier League games of the 2011/12 campaign, Lucas appeared in all 12, helping Liverpool FC garner a total of 22 points. This makes for an average of 1.83 points per game. In the 16 games since then, Liverpool have suffered a dip in form.

From the 1.83 that was achieved with Lucas in the team, the Reds have dropped to an average point/game of 1.25, garnering a total of 20 points out of the 16 games since his injury.

In Lucas Leiva and Adam, we had a flexible partnership. The reality is that Lucas’ passing ability and tackling percentages are more efficient compared to the figures that young Jay Spearing is producing. Lucas manages to change the pace of the game very quickly, with him being able to take the ball away and launch counter attacks very quickly.

It is also his closing down that has earned praise from the fans. Lucas covers a lot of ground in most of his matches, and he has been a player deserving of plaudits due to the determination and passion he shows prior to his ACL injury.

Published with permission from Two Liverpool Fans.

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