Is Lucas Leiva nearing an Anfield exit?
Lucas Leiva’s career seems to be drawing to a close. The Brazilian has been on Merseyside for 8 years and is currently the club’s longest serving player. His departure would be one of mixed emotions.
Reports in the last few days of Lucas leaving Liverpool have indicated that the midfielder’s future lies away from the the the club he signed for in 2007 from Gremio. It would seem, with Lucas not featuring in the matchday squad that traveled to Stoke, that his injury-stunted career is drawing to an end.
Several reputable online publications have stated that the cause for the Lucas possibly leaving is the break down between the player and Brendan Rodgers. While I cannot find any evidence from sources close to the player this news doesn’t come as a surprise,
Rodgers’ history with managing the senior players and those who he inherited from Roy Hodgson, when he switched from Swansea, is not good. Just by the number of senior members of the team that departed after supposed clashes of interest with the Northern Irishman support my suspicions. Jamie Carragher, Pepe Reina and Daniel Agger all had issues with the top man at Liverpool. Here’s what the latter had to say:
“I left Liverpool because of Rodgers.”
“There was much distance between us, and for me it was just enough. I felt that he didn’t appreciate the things I could and contributed. When I feel that, then it’s time to move on.”
“When you are a part of the starting eleven for several games in a row and the team have performed well, and you feel that you have played well, then you are left out of the team and don’t feel appreciated, it starts to get pray on your mind and you wonder.”
“Then at the same time you see the statistics from your game – which are so important all around the world of football – and you don’t understand why you weren’t used more often.”
The final quote especially is particularly interesting as it is very similar to that which is currently happening with Mamadou Sakho. It is well known and appreciated that the Frenchman is a highly skilled and highly competent defender. Also his statistics are superb. He was ranked third in the Premier League last season for passing accuracy among centre-backs. Yet, he isn’t favoured by Rodgers despite by a superior defender to both Martin Skrtel and Dejan Lovren.
It is also relevant to consider how Steven Gerrard – a living, breathing legend – was handled by Liverpool’s manager. The Scouse midfielder said that if he had been offered a contract sooner he would have loved to stay and signed without a second thought. However, the delay in being offered a renewal made him feel unwanted and thus spawned ideas of a move away. This lack of cohesion with senior players seems to be a theme throughout Rodgers’ term so far.
With the transfer window drawing to a close Lucas is considering his options. West Ham are said to be interested in the defensive midfielder on a permanent basis. The Brazilian has two years remaining on his contract and Liverpool value him at £8 million. This move would be ideal for him as it would mean he could remain in the Premier League and continue to compete at the highest level.
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You can find the orignial article on Michael’s personal blog – Rousing the Kop