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Liverpool Transfer News : Gerrard backs Lucas to earn midfield place

10 Jul 2011, 21:03 IST

Lucas – The Brazilian Diamond!

Despite having spent big in the transfer market to bolster their midfield ranks with the signings of Henderson and Adam and his impending return after a successful groin operation, Liverpool skipper Gerrard has backed his Brazilian team-mate Lucas to keep his midfield position in Kenny’s side next season.

After having endured a torrid start to his Liverpool career with patchy displays, Lucas Leiva was voted as the Player of the Season (Liverpool) by the fans. His assured displays in the centre of the park along with his impeccable work-ethic and his ability to assist the defenders made him the apple of the eye of the Kopites. Gerrard has seen enough to know that keeping Lucas out will be a tough call to make, even for the legendary Scot King Kenny. The talismanic Reds’ skipper is a fan of the Brazilian’s mental strength and knows that the Samba international will fight tooth and nail for his place in the first team, despite Liverpool boasting of a midfield comprising of the likes of Gerrard himself, Henderson, Adam, Meireles, Aquilani to name a few.

“He has a strong, positive mentality,” said Gerrard. “I’ve seen all the difficulties he’s been through. He has basically rolled his sleeves up, worked hard and improved.

“He has got stronger in the gym and has never let his head go down. He’s been prepared to fight to prove a lot of people wrong and was consistently one of our best players last season.”

Lucas had an impressive last season appearing 47 times for the Reds, with statistics revealing him as the best tackler in the league. Lucas will form the core of any formation that Kenny wishes to play with the other midfielders taking up attacking roles. With Lucas having earned a special place in the fans’ hearts after his immense role in Liverpool’s mid-season revival, King Kenny will find it difficult to keep the Brazilian international, who is currently on international duty, out of the first-team next season. Lucas, alongside Jay Spearing, was integral to Kenny’s press, pass and move style and he broke the rhythm of many- a midfield last season with his dogged determination and his impeccable work-ethic.

Lucas has become an integral part of Mano Menezes’ Brazil as well after his lucid displays in the Reds’ jersey and is one of the senior members of the young Samba squad participating in Copa America.

Kenny will be facing a selection headache next season with the rich crop of midfielders at his disposal, but the diligent Brazilian is sure to keep his place.

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