Brazilian midfielder Lucas has made a massive difference to the Liverpool midfield.
Liverpool have fielded a lot of younger and smaller players this season, with the pressure jacked up over Steven Gerrard to be the leader and protector of the side.
Lucas has stepped in as a new sort of midfield General for the club which has taken a lot of pressure off of the more influential and attacking players in the team, undoubtedly making it easier for the side to play good football.
He missed the early part of the season through injury but ever since he’s returned, his form has just got better and better which means he’s one of the most important players in the current side.
The job he’s doing so well is keeping the midfield organised, which has the effect of decreasing how open Liverpool look as a side and muting the chances of the opposition when it comes to catching the side on the counter attack.
The reason he’s maybe a little undervalued or underrated at Liverpool is simply because he doesn’t have a massive profile away from the field, which takes attention off of him in a positive way.
His reliability of holding his position in the middle means someone like Gerrard can get forward while the full backs overlap, as they know Lucas will do his best to get back into their positions if they are caught up the field.
He also does the basics very well which effectively allows him to boss the middle of the pitch.
This means things like control, basic passing, position and organising everyone around him so Liverpool can go from defence to attack and vice versa in a matter of seconds.
He’s added a little bit of aggression which is also important although the win against Wigan last weekend perhaps showed that his timing in terms of key challenges, could still use a little bit of work.
His presence is also vital for Liverpool as certain midfielders have been under pressure and criticised in the last couple of weeks.
Joe Allen has not been at his most consistent and Raheem Sterling recently had to be left out due to fatigue. Lucas is the exact sort of player Liverpool can use to put an arm around those younger players in order to help them stay positive and optimistic.
Lucas is perhaps still not quite at the form he was showing before he got injured but he’s not too far away and the good news for Liverpool is, he’s hitting his best patch at a time when the side can’t drop a single point.
Liverpool fans, how important has Lucas been?
image: © faisalzaman