Football FanCast guest columnist Joe Ravens feels that Rafa should test out Lucas in pre-season to see if he could make that Alonso role his own.
If Xabi Alonso does decide to turn his back on the football club then I am sure that I won't be the only Liverpool fan expressing disappointment at the loss of a fine footballer. Unfortunately the lure of Madrid is seemingly too strong for a native Spaniard and I only hope that Liverpool makes Real pay heavily for their shameless tapping up.
In the past few days there has been a certain amount of debate as to who should take his place if he were to move on. Such names like Silva, Defour, Veloso and Witsel have all been muted, but little attention has actually been played at what we have currently have already got at Liverpool and whether we have a possible replacement within. Why it's very easy to throw money at players because that is the mindset to do that I think it is wrong to dismiss the likes of Benayoun or Lucas as likely candidates who could come in and do a job. The Brazilian I believe is more than up to the challenge if given the opportunity.
I know Lucas isn't everyone's cup of tea at Liverpool, but even his harshest critics will have to concede that there was a dramatic improvement from him in the last months of the season. He may not possess the eclectic range of passing of Xabi, but he is certainly able with the ball at his feet. I think half the problem with Lucas has been simply a lack of opportunity or a run in a side to build up any sort of consistency to bring out the best in him – I believe that to be why he has been hit and miss at times, which subsequently has fuelled his doubters.
I'm not suggesting that Lucas will in time be the answer in finding a replacement for Xabi, but I believe that Rafa should certainly try him out in pre-season in that role and see how he fairs alongside Mascherano, before throwing millions at a possible replacement. We have a lot of friendlies coming up and a window of opportunity for him to prove his worth and give Rafa food for thought and whether he can make that Alonso role his own going into next season. He deserves his chance and who knows he could end up surprising a few people, not to mention give Rafa the opportunity to utilise that Alonso funds in strengthening elsewhere.
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