Lucas Leiva: I thought I would leave Liverpool after one season

The Brazilian midfielder has admitted that he is slightly surprised by the length of time he has been on the Reds’ books.

Liverpool will be looking for midfield inspiration next season following the departure of Steven Gerrard, with the Reds likely to try and sign a replacement for the outgoing Anfield favourite.

However, longstanding Brazilian midfielder Lucas Leiva could well be in line for a more prominent role in the team’s starting XI as a result.

The former Gremio man has had injury concerns this season but is still an important part of Brendan Rodgers’ thinking.

Although the South American’s future at Anfield is raised as a point of contention in the media on occasion, Lucas has been on the Merseyside club’s books for eight years.

The Brazil international has admitted that he is slightly surprised that he has stayed with Liverpool for so long, with a slow start to life in England meaning he felt he could after left after his first campaign.

“I didn’t think I was going to stay this long,” The Guardian quote Lucas as saying.

“I felt I might be gone after the first season. The time goes fast but I am still here and still proud to play for Liverpool.”

The experienced midfielder has stated that despite fitness concerns he is raring to go again and hopes to string together a run of games in the starting XI.

“The last injury set me back a little bit but in the last couple of games I felt back to the level I was before, which is great,” he continued.

“When I am fit and well I think I can offer a lot to the team. I just need to carry on like that because I haven’t had the best of luck with injuries.”

The 28-year-old has started 15 Premier League games this season and made one appearance from the subs bench.

Lucas is in line to feature for Liverpool in their FA Cup semi-final against Aston Villa this weekend, with the victor set to face Arsenal in the competition final.

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch