Well, it’s been confirmed that Lucas Leiva, arguably Liverpool’s best player this season, will be out for the remainfer of the season following the knee injury he sustained against Chelsea on Tuesday. This is a bitter blow to the Reds and the fans who have witnessed a vast improvement in Lucas’s performances over the last 12 months to the point that their captain marvel Steven Gerrard has not really been missed, such has been Lucas’s influence.
However, before all Liverpool fans go crying into their beer, there appears hope in the return of the prodigal son. It’s been confirmed that Jonjo Shelvey has been recalled from his loan spell at Blackpool. The loan was thought to be part of the deal that brought midfielder Charlie Adam to Liverpool. Fortunately for Liverpool, Manager Kenny Dalglish ticked the “Can be recalled” box on the loan agreement, as does anybody with any sense who has loaned a player on Fooball Manager!
I have to admit, I was a little sorry to see Shelvey go, albeit on loan because I thought he was improving nicely in the Reds’ midfield before he left. There were some very good performances from him in the end of season run-in for Liverpool and I’m sure many fans felt he could have played a part for Liverpool in exactly the kind of game in which Lucas came to grief.
How exactly will Dalglish deploy Shelvey? Well for me, I think he’ll come in as a direct replacement for Lucas. Thus as the typical “box-to-box” midfielder. Shalevey has the stamina that’s required for the role, and most definately has an eye for a pass as we’ve seen before. There will still be competition for places, and it’s perfectly reasonable that Jay Spering will be the immediate replacement and Shelvey will be the back up. It has to be said however, that the injury to Lucas does leave Liverpool a little shy of midfield cover should another serious injury come about.
I’m not sure Steven Gerrard is completely out of the woods in terms of injuries and as such it’s concievable that Dalglish may have to go to market to buy some experience in January. A holding midfielder is surely required in any event. Someone Dalglish can bung on to sit in fron of the defence in times of need, as Gerrard done against Everton earlier this season.
So, every cloud has a silver lining as they say, and in Shelvey we have a very good player who we know can come in and do a job for the team. All is not lost.
As for Lucas Pezzini-Leiva, all the best for a speedy recovery. You’ll Never Walk Alone.
By Ben Green
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