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So Sayeth the Manager: Lucas Leiva is Going Nowhere

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Despite all the reported interest from Italy and rumors of an impending departure, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says his Brazilian defensive midfielder is staying put for the rest of the season.

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It hasn't been a fun month for those who count themselves among people who support Lucas Leiva. The Brazilian midfielder has had his detractors almost from the moment he arrived at Anfield, but the volume of their dissent is matched by the fire and passion of those who see the quality he brings to the side.

So to those who speak for him, seeing all the rumors linking Lucas with a move to Italy were unpleasant. Watching him work his defensive wizardry again after finally rounding back into form over the last couple of months has been a treat, but watching him conjure the ball away from attackers in another team's shirt would have been painful. Fortunately, it seems that Brendan Rodgers isn't quite ready to part ways with the Brazilian cannonball just yet.

"He is not one that we would want to lose in January. There will be speculation over the course of the month on a lot of players. It is not something I would be willing to do in January. Of course at the end of the season everything is looked at again but the team is in a good momentum. [For now,] I think he’s just enjoying playing and he’s playing very well."

-Source: Liverpool Echo

This is, frankly, fantastic news for Liverpool. The side's increased defensive steel of late has been in large part because of Lucas return to form, and Rodgers even admitted that he played a part in that decline. "It was just the set up of the team," Rodgers told the press. "Last year we were a team that was set up with a playmaker from behind. We never played with a defensive midfielder really. When you move system and change, not the style, but the system it of course requires different things."

Those "different things" were aspects of midfield that Lucas doesn't excel at, but since changing things back to having a more defensive-minded presence at the base of midfield again, Lucas has bloomed again. Losing him without an adequate replacement (and for all his gifts, Fabian Delph is not an adequate defensive midfielder) would cause a lot of harm to the quality of the squad right now, so knowing that he'll be staying on is a major boon for Liverpool.

Hopefully Lucas stays out past the end of the season and has many more years yet to come with Liverpool. He's been a sorely under-appreciated part of the club for most of his time at Anfield, but he still has so much that he can contribute to Liverpool in his career.