By Harvey Byrne
Liverpool great Jan Molby believes Lucas Leiva has transformed from a flop into the glue of the current team.
The now 30-year-old made the switch to Merseyside in 2007 at the age of 20 from his home nation side Gremio.
The Brazilian’s first season for the club didn’t go as planned under manager Rafa Benitez and he played just 18 times in the Premier League campaign with many believing he wasn’t good enough for the prestigious club.
However, he has remained a frequent part of the Liverpool side under five managers, including current boss Jurgen Klopp and while Molby states he didn’t think Lucas would have been at the club for more than 10 minutes after his start, he has now hailed him as the glue that binds the team together.
“Meanwhile, Coutinho’s compatriot Lucas is celebrating 10 years at Anfield,” wrote Molby in his column for the Liverpool Echo.
“It’s was a very unusual move for him to come to Liverpool straight from Brazil.
“Brazilians usually touch down somewhere else like Portugal first so it was a brave move for a young lad.
“The way that his Liverpool career got off you wouldn’t have thought that he’d be there for 10 minutes let alone 10 years but he stuck at it.
“This is where he wanted to play and he’s overcome both early criticism and more importantly, some serious injuries.
“It’s no good asking Lucas to do things that he can’t do but if you ask him to do what he can do, he’s very effective.
“He’s the glue that binds everyone together within the camp. He’s been there a long time and links the foreign lads with the British players and understands the mentality of what Liverpool Football Club is all about.
“Even when he hasn’t played a lot, the managers have all seen him as a very important figure.
“He understands his role. It’s not to play 50 times a season but to be ready when called upon and he still has a massive impact and an input.”
Lucas has featured in 344 matches for Liverpool in total during his 10 years at the club and 29 of those appearances have came in all competitions this season.
However, his contract is set to expire at the end of June and newly promoted club Brighton are reportedly chasing his signature.
Fans and the player will be hoping he can remain a part of the Merseyside giants for another season, but a move away from Liverpool could be the next step for his career with the club looking to make a push for the Premier League title.
In other Liverpool news, Steve Nicol believes this Reds target will dislodge unreliable mainstay from the team.