Break out the tissues, Reds, because it’s finally time to say goodbye. Despite many stops and starts over the years, it looks like the time has come to say goodbye to one of Anfield’s most faithful.
News broke earlier in the week of Seria A club Lazio offering roughly £5 million for midfielder Lucas Leiva and Liverpool accepting the offer. While there were still many of us with hope in our hearts that it would fall apart at the last minute, that we couldn’t be so unlucky to lose him this summer after his tenth year as a Red, news has come out just to twist the knife. Or more like photos. Lucas himself has arrived in Rome this Sunday ahead of the move, reflecting the sorrow we all must be feeling to see him go.
I know, it hurts.
Lucas was greeted by Lazio fans and their official Twitter account at Fiumicino Airport in Rome, presumably ahead of making the move official. Sources claim that a medical is expected on Monday, before signing all the right papers and letting our most loyal Red wear blue and white for Serie A. Lazio finished fifth and will be competing in the Europa League next year, a competition Lucas is well familiar with.
Lucas came to Liverpool from Brazilian side Gremio in 2007 for Rafa Benitez. He’s been through manager changes, ups and down, and many many competitions in his 346 appearances. While he may not have numbers to back up the work he did, he will leave behind an indelible impression on the players, the club, and the supporters. Kindness, joy, and grit as he put on the Red shirt as often as possible. Just about the best representative the club could ask for, showing nothing but loyalty, even when given the chance to move on earlier in the year, and earlier in his career.
At 30, he still has quite a few playing years left on him, but with the pressures of the Premier League mounting and the offer of regular minutes elsewhere tempting, one can’t blame him for looking elsewhere. Maybe it really is time, but that doesn’t make the loss any less acute.