According to Sky Sports and BBC, Italian side Lazio have agreed a £5million fee for Liverpool’s Brazilian stalwart Lucas Leiva. The midfielder has always been expected to leave this summer. Leiva will fly out to Rome, to discuss terms and undergo a medical.
The 30-year old is Liverpool’s longest serving player. He joined the club from Gremio in 2007 – making his debut in the Merseyside derby, replacing Steven Gerrard.
After the Reds’ 3-0 win over Middlesbrough on the last day of the season, Leiva was presented with a commemorative trophy from club legend Kenny Dalglish, to honour a decade of service for Liverpool.
Lucas is a player who has grown into the affections of Liverpool supporters. When he first arrived at the club, people were skeptical about whether he was up to the required standard. Replacing Gerrard at a crucial stage in the Merseyside derby on his debut did him no favours. There were boos from the fans. However, the Brazilian’s shot led to the match-winning Dirk Kuyt penalty, that day.
In his 10 years at the club, Leiva has made 247 Premier League appearances – bagging 7 goals. Last season he played 31 times for Jurgen Klopp’s side, featuring in 24 league fixtures. He also managed one goal.
However, last season was always expected to be his final one at Anfield. The news that he looks set for a move to Lazio does not come as a surprise.
Despite arriving as a fresh-faced young man from South-America, Leiva became a leader at Liverpool. He grew as a player at the club, despite his limited ability. He even managed to captain Liverpool for a period and break into the Brazilian national team. Reds fans will remember him for his character, as much as anything else. His personality is infectious and he will be missed by the Merseyside club.
Some fans may believe that he should be entitled to a testimonial one day.