Lucas – Liverpool’s best player right now

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez continued to praise the effort and workrate of midfielder Lucas Leiva after another impressive display from the Brazilian in yesterday’s 2-1 defeat to Atletico Madrid at Anfield.

Lucas is now being tipped by many to step up his game this season and fill in for the departed Xabi Alonso and yesterday Lucas, who scored the Reds’ only goal of the game, showed exactly why he’s receiving so many praises.

Benitez said, “I said in my pre-match notes that Lucas has been best player in pre-season. He showed why again today. He is really focused, working hard and is showing quality.

“He knows Aquilani will need time. When we decided to bring in Aquilani we knew he would be out for one month or so, so we analysed the squad and we think that with Mascherano, Lucas, Gerrard and Plessis we have enough.”