By Chris Cahillane
After a disappointing season last year, it was clear to see that Liverpool needed a summer rebuild in the middle of the park. This was achieved with the acquisitions of Dominik Szoboslai, Alexis Mac Allister, Ryan Gravenberch and Wataru Endo.
The new signings have hit the ground running, with all four contributing goals and assists between them. But it is the work out of possession which has caught the eye of former Reds’ midfielder Lucas Leiva.
Speaking exclusively to The Redmen TV, the Brazilian, who played under Jurgen Klopp, said: “These guys will provide new energy. People spoke a lot last season about the lack of energy in midfield, and we know how Jurgen likes to play, with high intensity and pressure, so the new players must do this to be successful at the club.”
However, several fans were not happy with the recruitment at holding midfield or the ‘number 6 role’ after selling Fabinho in the summer.
Mac Allister has featured there the most in the league, although he is better suited to playing in more attacking roles, and Endo has had limited league minutes, featuring more in the cup competitions.
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Lucas played this role for most of his career, and he is quite optimistic about the Reds’ current options there: “We just need to wait; Endo has just arrived and has had a good start. I think he is a very good player and just needs some time to find his feet.
“However, if the manager and the club feel like they need to strengthen, then they will go into the market and see what is available.”
Liverpool have been rumoured to be interested in Lucas’ fellow Brazilian Andre, who is currently at Fluminense. A lot of fans think the 22-year-old holding midfielder could be the long-term answer for the Reds, and Lucas rates him very highly.
“He is a great player and has just won the Libertadores with his club. He has also played for the Brazil national team at such a young age, which shows how great he already is. It would be interesting to see how he adapts to our team if he comes but he is definitely a great player.”
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Just one point off the pace at the top of the table and seemingly with the squad depth to challenge on multiple fronts once again, Liverpool fans can be more than happy with the start to the campaign, albeit in the face of much adversity.
However, with Mac Allister out of position, Wataru yet to fully settle, Stefan Bajcetic struggling for fitness, plus Thiago injured and likely to be leaving, a midfield addition would undoubtedly be welcomed by all.
Lucas was the last direct import from the Brazilian league to Liverpool, so if Andre is as good as he says he is, then he may follow in his compatriots’ footsteps and be walking out at Anfield very soon.