Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Lucas Please Dont Leiva

Article first published as Lucas Please Dont Leiva on Technorati.
Despite having put up with more criticism than David Beckham's MLS career Liverpool's Brazilian Midfielder has i merged as a key influence in the side.

by Rhydon Atzenhoffer
March 9, 2011

Lucas Coming of Age
Since his arrival on Merseyside young Lucas Leiva has been anything but loved by most if not all Liverpool fans. Rafael Benitez however, never faltered in his belief in the young Brazilian and Leiva has never bowed out to the criticism of the fans. Always wanting to win them over, he has crept his way in to many fans hearts this season as he continues to show his obvious talent.

Many forget that in his debut season for the Reds he was the first Brazilian to ever score for the club. Not to bad for someone that at the time was only 20 and had the weight of the world of expectations on his shoulders. For years he has been loathed by fans, but he never lost his faith, and never lost his drive to win over the Anfield faithful.

Rise to Fan Favorite
However, this season truly has many fans on the verge of conversion as his displays in midfield throughout the campaign have been steeped with promise. He was originally signed from Gremio for a fee of 5 Million Pounds and was generally used as an attacking midfielder. During most of his time at Liverpool since his arrival he has been used more as a holding midfielder.

The departure of Xabi Alonso last season left Lucas perhaps the biggest set of boots to fill aside from Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres at the time, and Lucas stepped up having arguably his best season as a Red as he was voted Young Player of the Season by his club and fans after making 39 total appearances.

Always A Fighter Despite Criticism
This season has shown his growth in both composure and understanding of the English game as he has been the heartbeat of the Liverpool Midfield all season despite the departure of Javier Mascherano and the constant reshuffling of the Reds central area around Steven Gerrard's nagging injuries. Lucas has 24 League Appearances this campaign only behind Reina, Skrtel, and Meireles for most games started in the league. He also has picked up the only Red Card of the season as proof of having to but in some of the grunt work that Mascherano left on the table in his departure for Barcelona.

Many arguments have been made in recent weeks as well, including interviews and opinions on, "Kop Talkin'"one of Liverpool FC TV's public opinion shows, that Lucas is not class enough, and that he would not make it on teams like Manchester United, or Chelsea. If this is so how does he continue to have one of the highest form ratings of any midfielder in the premiership.

Lucas has shown nothing but improvement year after year. He is only 24 and already has over 150 appearances for the club and has been a constant stalwart for the team as his toughness and ability to handle the rigors of the English league show through his ability to constantly avoid injury and stay fit.

One of the Longest Standing Squad Members at 24
PA Images
With all that said, as Liverpool looks to the future and for years of success it is only ideal that Lucas remain and be offered a new contract. With the system of investing in youth for the long haul as done with Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll, just as Liverpool's owners did with the Red Sox in their return to prominence, signing Lucas to a second major contract with the club is a no brainer as his prime years between 24 and 29 remain to be played.

He is already a proven young talent in the League and one of the longest standing players on the team only being out tenured by Jaime Carragher, Steven Gerrard, Pepe Reina, Dirk Kuyt, and Daniel Agger on the first team. Lucas has the ability to be vital to the return of Liverpool to former glories, and his dedication and hard work has been nothing but an example of professionalism. Lucas should stay on Merseyside and be a face of the future as he has the ability and the opportunity to become an Anfield legend.

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