Former Liverpool defender Glen Johnson has been outlining the importance of Lucas Leiva during his time at Anfield.

When Glen Johnson was speaking on talkSPORT (07/02/2020), the former Liverpool defender outlined the surprise player they couldn’t play without during his time at Anfield – and it’s not Luis Suarez.

The player Johnson was rating so highly is Lucas Leiva, the Brazilian midfielder played over 340 matches for the Reds, scoring seven times and assisting his former teammates on 21 occasions.

The pundit told talkSPORT: “He [Lucas Leiva] was the one we couldn’t replace.” The 35-year-old said.

“He played the holding role so well which allowed Suarez to go and perform.” The Uruguayan striker scored 82 goals in 133 appearances for the Reds.

Leiva now plays his football in the Serie A in Italy for SS Lazio, a club where he’s already become a regular starter – playing 18 times this season despite being 33 years old.

The midfielder has been with Lazio for a little while now, playing 109 matches in Italy since leaving Anfield in July 2017.

So far during his entire journey with the Eagles, the 33-year-old has scored four goals and has registered 10 assists, which isn’t miles off his stats back in England.

Gremio was where it all started for Leiva, and you would imagine that a return to Brazil would likely be the next move for the defensive-midfielder – should he decide to not retire at Lazio.

The 33-year-old is hardly seen as a Liverpool legend, with him being most famous for his iconic ‘unlucky’ clip. So it was nice to see Johnson giving the Lazio man high praise, instead of going for a more obvious or conventional option.  

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