Liverpool’s Lucas Leiva backs Jonjo Shelvey to shine at Anfield
Liverpool's Lucas Leiva is backing Jonjo Shelvey to become an important player for Brendan Rodgers' side this season
Lucas Leiva has backed Jonjo Shelvey to become a key player for Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool.
Lucas, who made a stuttering start to his career at Anfield before becoming a first-team regular, has been left impressed by Shelvey and is confident the midfielder will capitalise on any opportunities handed to him by Rodgers
“Jonjo is a young player, but he’s been with us for two or three season so we have seen every day he has a lot of quality and I think he will be a very good player for this club,” Lucas told Liverpool’s website.
“He has been very impressive in pre-season and I am looking forward to helping him when he wants me to. Hopefully he will be a great addition this season.
“My advice to him would be just to keep working hard and when he gets a chance, to try and take it.
“He has a little bit of experience already and played a few games last season, so I think he won’t have a problem when he has his chance – and I will try to help him on the pitch.”
Lucas also admitted he was relieved to receive Rodgers’ backing as the midfielder continues his comeback from a season-ending cruciate ligament injury against Chelsea back in November.
“On my first day back in Liverpool, Rodgers spoke with me and said I was in his plans,” he added.
“Those words helped me to relax a little bit more because he was a new manager coming in and everyone wants to impress. I was coming back from an injury and knew I wouldn’t be at the same level as the other players.
“It gave me the confidence to progress slowly and I am really happy to have his support from the beginning.”
The 25-year-old Lucas has made 183 appearances for the Reds after he was signed by former Liverpool manager Rafael Benítez in a £5m deal in 2007.