All eyes have been on incoming stars at Anfield this summer, as Brendan Rodgers continues to strengthen his side for life after Steven Gerrard, but the issue that should really be concerning Reds supporters is another potential outgoing.
The Daily Mail has reported that the club’s defensive midfielder Lucas Leiva will head a list of players on their way out the door at Anfield, as they look to balance the books.
This simply cannot happen. Lucas is a vital part of this Liverpool squad and should not be sold.
Since his £5m move from Gremio back in 2007 the Brazilian has become a cult hero at the club.
Like many defensive midfielders, his talents often go unnoticed, but the 28-year-old is incredible in this role. The way he recovers the ball and calmly builds an attack from the back has become a vital part of manager Brendan Rodgers’ counter attacking tactics.
No matter who the opponent, the player can be relied on to step up and support his defence and his calm presence on and off the ball has worked wonders for his team-mates.
Last season the midfielder made 32 appearances, despite a number of injuries, and now that Steven Gerrard has departed Lucas is the only natural defensive midfielder at the club.
His position in the team should also now be vital following the addition of a second attacking full back in Nathaniel Clyne. He and Alberto Moreno will be supporting attacks from out wide and Lucas is the obvious candidate to provide the necessary cover for the defence.
However it is not just his on-field abilities that will benefit the team.
Brendan Rodgers has assembled a young squad and players like Lucas are vital to provide advice to those around them still learning their game.
Emre Can is still young and learning his trade at the club, Jordan Henderson is in the, likely, transition of becoming the new club captain and James Milner is adapting to his new status as a Liverpool player.
There has never been a time when Lucas Leiva has been needed more
Add to that his importance in settling new arrivals from South America – Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho were both very vocal in their praise of the midfielder in helping them adapt to life on Merseyside.
Now following the arrival of big money signing and fellow Brazilian Roberto Firmino, he can again play a key role in settling the new addition, ahead of what will be a difficult first season in English football.
Many would even argue that Lucas has all the characteristics of a good leader and should even be considered for at least a vice captaincy role if he remains at the club past the summer.
It’s clear to see that Lucas plays a massive role at Liverpool both on and off the field and needs to be heavily involved at Anfield next season. Brendan Rodgers simply cannot afford to lose the unsung hero any time soon.