Liverpool’s Lucas Leiva hopes return will help his midfield colleagues
Liverpool's Lucas Leiva says his return from injury will help the likes of Joe Allen and Jonjo Shelvey to be more attacking
Lucas Leiva believes his return from a three-month spell on the sidelines can bring out the best form in his midfield colleagues at Liverpool.
The Brazil international made his comeback in a 1-0 victory over Southampton on Saturday after being ruled out with a thigh injury picked up against Manchester City in August.
Lucas, who missed two-thirds of last season with a cruciate ligament injury, is hoping the likes of Joe Allen, Nuri Sahin and Jonjo Shelvey will be able to get further forward, with the South American filling the holding role.
“I didn’t have that much time to work with Joe on the pitch because he came towards the end of the pre-season and afterwards I was injured,” Lucas told Liverpool’s website.
“But we could see Joe getting forward to join the attack and create chances – that’s what he used to do at Swansea so he feels very comfortable there knowing that we will always be behind the ball and trying to cover.
“I hope I can help in this way to give freedom for him, Stevie, [Jordan] Henderson, [Nuri] Sahin and Jonjo [Shelvey]. That’s my job and I’m delighted to be able to help again.”
Brendan Rodgers heaped praise on Lucas for an impressive display on his return the Reds first-team, lasting 80 minutes before being replaced.
“His coming back allows the two advanced midfielders to play in that central corridor higher up the pitch and getting in the box,” said Rodgers.
“He gives us great stability when we haven’t got the ball, he intercepts, his transition is good, he gets the ball back quickly. He knows the game, he can read the game.”