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Is Lucas Leiva set for Liverpool’s first testimonial game since 2013?

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With Lucas Leiva now in his 10th year with Liverpool, the defender could be awarded a summer testimonial to mark his service to the club.

Lucas’ Liverpool career may be coming to an end this summer, with the Brazilian seeing out the remainder of his contract amid interest from clubs in Italy and Turkey.

If he does leave Merseyside at the end of the season, Lucas will have spent 10 years on the books with the Reds, having joined from Gremio in 2007, in a deal worth £5 million.

And this sees the 30-year-old step into testimonial eligibility, giving the club the opportunity to venerate one of its most loyal servants of recent years—since Martin Skrtel’s departure in July, Lucas is the Reds’ current longest-serving player.

Testimonials were previously held to secure veterans an extra payday at the end of their career, but the need for such an arrangement has been nullified in the age of six-figure salaries.

Nevertheless, Liverpool could choose to provide Lucas with a testimonial to honour his long spell with the club.

If so, he would be the first Reds player to be granted one since Steven Gerrard in 2013, with the club only holding seven others in the past 25 years.

Those were for Bruce Grobbelaar (1992), Ronnie Whelan (1993), Steve Nicol (1993), Ian Rush (1994), Jan Molby (1996), Ronnie Moran (2000) and Jamie Carragher (2010).

Joey Jones (1993), Jimmy Case (1994), Nick Tanner (1995) and Steve Staunton (2000) were also honoured over that period, but for their services to other clubs, rather than while at Liverpool.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 3, 2013: Liverpool's captain Steven Gerrard in action against Olympiakos CFP during a preseason friendly match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Testimonials have been something of a exceptional occurrence for the Reds in recent years, with two significant figures in the club’s history overlooked despite having been on the books for a decade.

Neither John Barnes or Sami Hyypia were given testimonial games, despite being widely regarded as two of Liverpool’s most important players since the mid-1980s, along with firm favourites at Anfield.

This could suggest that Lucas is not guaranteed an honorary outing, though there have been few opportunities to do so since Fenway Sports Group took over, and this would be the first under Jurgen Klopp.

Klopp’s former club, Borussia Dortmund, held a testimonial for Lucas’ compatriot Dede in 2015, with 81,359 supporters turning out to watch the centre-back score in a 13-11 win.

It is unlikely Liverpool will announce details of a possible testimonial for Lucas until closer to the end of the season.

But the former Gremio midfielder, who has made 334 appearances for the Reds so far and is set to break into the club’s all-time top 50, certainly fits the criteria for such an honour.

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