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Lucas Nearing Full Fitness Following U21 Spell

In his attempts to work back to full fitness, Lucas Leiva spent the week training with the U21s, something youth manager Michael Beale thinks can be hugely beneficial for the young players.

Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

While he made the bench against Manchester United on the weekend, after a spell on the sidelines and being short of match fitness, Lucas Leiva wasn’t ready to start—or even to come off the bench unless there had been an emergency. To help get up to speed, he’s expected to get a run out on Sunday at Steven Gerrard’s all star testimonial. He’s also been spending time with the U21s.

"Lucas joined him and it’s been a pleasure to have him," commented U21 manager Michael Beale this week, who after having Mamadou Sakho recently spend a week training with the U21s was in the mood to reflect on having recovering first team players joining them on occasion. "He knows a few of the boys, gets on really well with Jordan Williams and the Spanish boys like Chirivella and Canos, so he helps them along."

The midfielder may have been training with them this week, but he’s also often visited the U21s in the past, as have a number of Liverpool’s other first team players. And according to Beale, even the presence of first team players on the sidelines watching can boost practice, as the young players do their best to impress for the first team stars they hope to one day join or maybe even surpass at the club.

"This is where everyone wants to be, and you see an extra ten percent in their training when the boys come here," added the U21 manager. "It’s brilliant for them, [and] the boys are here quite regularly."

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