Is it time for Lucas Leiva to leave Liverpool?

Lucas Leiva

The Brazilian midfielder lost his place in Brendan Rodgers’ side to injury, but now looks out of sync with the rest of the midfield.

Is Lucas Leiva’s time up at Liverpool?

Steven Gerrard’s switch to a holding midfield role, coupled with the use of just the one defensive-minded player in the engine room last term, meant Lucas’s chances were limited at Anfield.

In fairness to the Brazilian, he has been unfortunate with injuries, having missed a few months with knee ligament damage. Manager Brendan Rodgers switched to a diamond formation at times last season, and with Gerrard thriving in a deeper position, Lucas was asked to operate in a slightly different role than he had previously been accustomed to.

Having been a mainstay of the team since Xabi Alonso's departure in the summer of 2009, Lucas is now considered behind the likes of Gerrard, Philippe Coutinho, Jordan Henderson, Raheem Sterling and Joe Allen for the four slot in the diamond formation.

However, Lucas, who signed for the Reds in the summer of 2007, seemed to struggle to adjust, and with the rest of the Reds midfield flourishing with a high-tempo passing and pressing game, the former Gremio youngster seemed out of sync.

Allen won over some doubters towards the end of last season, while Henderson’s fortunes have completely transformed under Rodgers’ guidance.

However, time and again, Lucas’s ponderous approach was in contrast to the rest of his colleagues.

The 27-year-old seemed either unwilling or incapable of altering his playing style, and continued to perform as though he was asked to patrol the back four.

His slow tempo and methodical passing game was, at times, detrimental to a side who like to get it into Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez’s feet as quickly and as often as possible.

Lucas failed to make the Brazil World Cup squad, and should he remain at Anfield this summer, he will have to accept that he will be backup to Gerrard, and with Adam Lallana tipped to arrive from Southampton, he will have yet another rival to contend with in the four-man midfield.

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