Lucas Leiva captained Liverpool to an emphatic victory over Southampton in midweek and has been one of the cornerstones of the club's revival under Jürgen Klopp. He's been frequently linked to a move away from the club under former manager Brendan Rodgers but is one of the most trusted figures in the opening couple months of Klopp's tenure on Meresyside.
Lucas is one of the oldest and most experienced players at the club who has been around since the days of Rafa Benítez. His professionalism and warm character makes him an ideal candidate in the squad to talk about the impact of the 48-year-old Swabian. Roy Hodgson, Kenny Dalglish, and Brendan Rodgers have all worked with Lucas since Benítez parted ways with Liverpool in 2010. Papa Lucas is as important as he ever was under his fifth manager on Merseyside.
I'm learning a lot and and he's a very demanding manager but a person who tells you what you need to do to improve. That's what he wants and if you make mistakes he just doesn't kill your confidence and he gives you confidence to improve and tells you what you need to do. So that's what we've been talking about and he's trying to add some things on my game and I think slowly I'm getting there. Of course it's never perfect but I'm very happy with the way I'm playing and improving. For me it was about the belief and the confidence that I needed. I think he's been giving me that and giving me an important role to play in the team. I think everyone in the squad feels important and everyone feels that you have a part to play.
These sort of insights into Klopp's methods and personality provides greater understanding into what has propelled Liverpool into contention for a place in the top four. The hugs, smiles, charisma, and passion are easily noticeable by fans along with the transformation on the pitch. Yet the standards Klopp has must be of such a high level to achieved what he did with Mainz 05 and Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga. So far his approach has translated successfully to England's top tier, and if there are further improvements to be made, Liverpool's opponents will be wary of the confidence and belief circulating with the squad.