Last summer we got to see Lucas return to the Liverpool squad during the preseason tour, but the Lucas we saw was one put together more by hope and nostalgia than fully physical rehabilitation. Cut down at his peak form, he spent months on the sidelines only to find out that belief wouldn't quite be enough to recapture his form, and only weeks after he was back he was gone again. Building off an improved spring, though, he looks to be back for good this preseason, and if his performance against Olympiakos on Saturday was any indication, he's more than ready to kick on into the new season.
It was the Lucas we were hoping for last season, one who reads the game exceptionally well and has the mental and physical wherewithal to execute. Timely in the tackle, physical when he needs to be, and displaying great vision in recycling possession and springing the attack, he's looking more and more like the "disciple" that Brendan Rodgers spoke about last summer. Only now it's an actual thing rather than a hope, albeit during preseason and not quite yet in league.
There's going to be a tremendous amount asked of Lucas this season, especially if Rodgers and company don't bring in any further cover. All signs point to money being spent elsewhere, leaving Lucas as the only holding midfielder in the squad, which is worrisome just a year after he looked so frail.
The system should be able to accommodate the Brazilian when he does need support, however; Rodgers has often spoke of having an adaptable three-man setup that can fluidly switch between 1-2 and 2-1, the latter of which would give Lucas further support from Steven Gerrard, Joe Allen, and Jordan Henderson. Neither of those names are true support, but all can give the help Lucas might need, which, if he gets back to top form, shouldn't be much at all.
Video by RaytedAre