Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva thrilled to pen new long-term deal
Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva says he is thrilled to pen a new long-term deal at the Reds after a difficult 18 months
Lucas Leiva has been rewarded for an impressive return to the Liverpool first-team with a new long-term contract.
The Brazilian has been ever-present in Brendan Rodgers’s starting line-up since December after returning from a thigh injury picked up in a 2-2 draw with Manchester City in August.
And the 26-year-old, who missed most of the 2011-12 campaign with a serious knee injury, is thrilled to have penned a new deal at the 18-time English champions.
“It’s another long-term contract that I have signed – but it was the same feeling as when I first came here,” Lucas told Liverpool’s website.
“I am really delighted to have the opportunity to play for this club. It’s where I think I belong and where I wanted to stay, so I am very happy and looking forward to a few more years here.
“It was an easy decision because after the long period of my career I have had here, I would like to give the best of my time to this club. It was not a difficult decision to make and I am really looking forward to what will hopefully be a few more years with a lot of success.”
Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre heaped praise on Lucas for rediscovering his best form despite two serious injuries over the past 18 months.
“It’s fantastic. He has been such a great servant to the club and I think during the period he went through with his two injuries, he put so much work into it and the club supported him through it,” Ayre said.
“He just goes from strength to strength. We said throughout last summer and January, we wanted to keep our best, experienced players, and this is another great example of that.
“The manager has said several times that as well as having a great, young squad, it’s important we have experience and it’s important we have characters. People like Lucas fit that.
“He’ll tell you he’s still very young, but in footballing terms he’s experienced and a big part of the team.”
The Brazil international has scored six goals in 208 appearances for Liverpool after completing a £5m move from Gremio to the Reds in 2007.