Lucas Leiva will fight for his Liverpool place

10 July 2011 11:21
Steven Gerrard has backed Brazilian midfielder Lucas Leiva to keep his place in the Liverpool first-team despite the arrivals of Charlie Adam and Jordan Henderson.

The Brazilian midfielder, 24, is currently playing in the Copa America having enjoyed his best season yet at Anfield.

International duty: Lucas Leiva (right) plays for Brazil against Paraguay in the Copa America

Having signed for ?5million back in 2007, Lucas initially endured a tough time at Liverpool, but he won over the club's fans last season after putting in a series of energetic and combative displays alongside Jay Spearing in the engine room.

And although boss Kenny Dalglish has spent in the region of ?25m bolstering his midfield with captures of Adam and Henderson, Liverpool captain Gerrard believes Lucas will embrace the added competition.

'He has a strong, positive mentality,' said Gerrard.

Engine room: Lucas and Steven Gerrard face competition for their places next season

'I've seen all the difficulties he's been through. He has basically rolled his sleeves up, worked hard and improved.

'He has got stronger in the gym and has never let his head go down.

'He's been prepared to fight to prove a lot of people wrong and was consistently one of our best players last season.'

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Source: Daily_Mail