If someone had told you in 2007 that Lucas Leiva would be celebrating 10 years of service with the club, would you have believed them? Brought in under Rafa Benítez, the scruffy, lanky-haired Brazilian began his rocky career as a Red.
It took years for the fans to warm up to him, and it seems as though every season brings new transfer rumors and deals scuppered at the last moment for him. But somehow, five managers now have found some use for him, either as a defensive midfielder, an attacking midfielder, or a center-back — each to varying degrees of success.
While many still doubt Lucas’s talents on the pitch, few could take issue with his loyalty or heart. He has made it clear year after year that he loves Liverpool and will play whatever role he can to try and help the team.
Speaking with the ECHO to commemorate his 10 year experience, Lucas opened up about his time on Merseyside.
“It’s been a fantastic journey,” he said. “A very hard one I’d say, but I am very proud of what I’ve achieved and I still have a lot more to achieve here. A journey of 10 years will always have a lot of ups and downs. There have been happy and sad moments.
“I’d like to have won more things but you have to keep trying and keep fighting. Hopefully in the end there will be more trophies and it will all be positive. I know I have respect from the fans and from everyone at the club and that’s what you aim for as well.”
Lucas joined Liverpool in 2007, and though he has been part of teams that played in finals, he has yet to win any silverware with the club. When the team, under Kenny, lifted the Carling Cup trophy, Lucas was out with a long term injury.
But there is a feeling around Anfield this season that Klopp and his team might be headed for something special, and Lucas wants to be a part of that.
“I have to understand the situation at the moment, keep working and be ready for when the opportunities come,” Lucas added.
“I know I’m still an important player for this group. Of course everyone wants to play but we don’t have as many games as last year. You have to understand this but accepting it is very hard. If you accept not playing too easily then you probably won’t be ready when the chance comes.
“I will never just accept not playing. The day I do is probably the day I should think about something else. I’m challenging for a position and the manager knows I can do a job.”
Lucas looks to have pulled ahead of Ragnar Klavan as Klopp’s third-choice center-back, and with more EFL Cup games and the FA Cup on the horizon, he should have plenty of chances to make his mark on the team this season.