There are some players who just never seem to be appreciated as much as they should be. In an environment where flair and skill dominate the headlines it is very rare for a quiet but effective player to be noticed or commented about on a regular basis. One such player at the moment is Liverpool’s Brazilian midfielder Lucas Leiva who has been instrumental in his side’s good start to the season.
It has been a stop start couple of seasons for Lucas after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury in late 2011 which ruled him out for the remainder of the campaign. His rehabilitation then suffered a set back the following season after sustaining a thigh injury which ruled him out for a further three months.
Despite not being quite at the top of his game just yet the early signs look immensely promising. After taking a little while to settle fully at the club his performances, when fit, have been integral to the side’s fortunes. His ability to screen the defence and begin attacking plays have helped to relieve some of the pressure from Steven Gerrard.
The defensive midfield role has become a vital component of the modern game. With the speed of the counter attack and the improvements in the physical side of the game protection of your centre backs has become integral to all of the successful sides. However, it is not only a defensive position as best demonstrated by Italy’s Andrea Pirlo. Very few people who has seen Pirlo over the years would say he is great defensively; he is there as the deep lying play maker and as such has players around him to do the defending.
What Lucas has been able to show alongside Gerrard is that with quick and incisive passing they are able to switch from defence to attack much more efficiently. With the attacking players now at their disposal this has been a huge part of their recent improvement. Not only is Lucas adept at tracking back and screening his defence he is also an excellent passer of the ball.
Liverpool’s start to this season has been very impressive and with Luis Suarez to add even more quality to their side their fans should expect a good season ahead. It has always been the way that attacking players and goal scorers take the headlines but within this side there is a Brazilian with huge ambition and a lot of ability. Hopefully his struggles with injury are behind him now and he will improve this current Liverpool side and make them flourish.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)