In one of the more worrying reports regarding Liverpool’s transfer business this summer, it’s claimed that Brendan Rodgers will sell Lucas Leiva as he prefers Joe Allen in the holding midfield role.
The claim comes via The Mirror‘s David Anderson, who writes that Rodgers “believes Lucas is not dynamic enough and prefers Joe Allen in the midfield holding role” and is therefore willing to listen to offers for the Brazilian.
Perhaps even more worryingly, Anderson claims: “The Anfield boss feels he would have enough central midfield options in [James] Milner, Allen, Jordan Henderson and Emre Can if Lucas went.”
Of course, we can’t take Anderson’s words as gospel, but if they are indeed the thoughts of the Liverpool boss it’s a pretty alarming viewpoint from the manager.
Liverpool’s best form this season occurred when Lucas forced his way back into the side over the winter months, and since his more recent injury the Reds’ form has dipped again, with their midfield often found wanting.
The 27-year-old returned from injury at the end of April but hasn’t started since then, with Rodgers instead opting to fit Steven Gerrard into the side in the holding midfield role, despite having earlier explained how he realised this could no longer work after the 3-1 away defeat to Crystal Palace back in November.
OPINION: Should Liverpool keep or sell Lucas this summer?
Anderson claims Inter Milan are again interested in Lucas, as they were back in January, while Napoli as noted as potential suitors – something that appears less likely should Rafa Benitez move to Real Madrid as expected.
Anderson’s report though claims Lucas “is believed to want to stay put” whereas previous reports from Merseyside based correspondents have always insisted the player is happy to move on and seek a new challenge, rather than be a bit-part player at Anfield.
If Liverpool do allow Lucas to leave, they surely need to sign a proper holding midfield player, rather than relying upon Emre Can to fill the role next season. Can is just 21 and if Rodgers saw him as the future in that role then surely it would have been wise to at least play Can there in these final games of the season?
And if Rodgers sees Allen as being the de facto holding midfielder, as Anderson claims, then…