Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva has told Press Association Sport that he is yet to make a firm decision about his future at Anfield.
What’s the latest?
First-team opportunities have been few and far between for the Brazilian this season.
In fact, manager Jurgen Klopp has started the 30-year-old just three times in the Premier League, with his seven other appearances in the top flight coming off the bench.
Lucas has been in the starting XI for three EFL Cup games and in last weekend’s goalless stalemate with Plymouth Argyle in the FA Cup, but he has predominantly been played out of position.
The Brazilian is naturally a defensive midfielder, but he has more recently been used as a centre-back to provide cover.
Lucas is in his 10th year at Anfield, which makes him the longest-serving player in the current Liverpool squad, but he has realised that he may need to leave in order to gain more minutes on the pitch. He told told PA Sport:
“The situation is not great. It is not something I want for my future, to have not many games. I don’t want this for my career, especially at my age.
“I’m not close to retiring and have many years ahead of me. You want to play – we get paid to play – but I just try to be professional and help as much as I can and when I have the chance do my best.
“The best place for me to be now is Liverpool. I cannot say [where] in one week’s time, one month’s time or four months’ time. I have to judge when something comes up if it is better. It has been a special season already and we have a chance to win trophies and that is something I consider as well.”
Would Liverpool miss Lucas?
The Brazilian will be missed given his lengthy spell at the club, but in terms of what he provides on the pitch, Liverpool can comfortably find a replacement.
Lucas is only really a consideration when there is an injury to the defence or if Klopp wants to rest players in a cup game.
He does provide versatility, though, as he can dip into midfield and defence. Also, the Reds do not have a wealth of options at the back, so Klopp may need to dip into the market if Lucas leaves.
The Merseyside outfit are unlikely to stand in the Brazilian’s way if he decides to leave this month.
However, judging from Lucas’s quotes, he may wait until the summer if there is a chance of picking up a Premier League winners’ medal.