Lucas Leiva Willing To Marshall Liverpool’s Defense During Injury Crisis

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Lucas Leiva has no need to prove he’s a consummate team player at Liverpool, but here’s a little more evidence to justify what we already know.

Lucas, a midfielder by trade, played the final hour of Liverpool’s Capital One Cup (Football League Cup) win over Stoke City at the heart of the Reds’ defense following Dejan Lovren’s injury-induced removal from the game. Lucas on Tuesday revealed his willingness to play as a center back whenever manager Jurgen Klopp needs him to do so.

“I’ve played a few games this season at center-half, and of course I’m a midfield player, but if the manager needs me then I’m going to deliver, and today I think I could help,” Lucas told LiverpoolFC.com.

Lucas, 28, has spent his entire career making and breaking-up plays in the midfield. He credits teammate Kolo Toure and his own experience shielding defenses for helping him perform well in an emergency role against Stoke City.

“Kolo is an experienced player which he helped me,” Lucas said. “Talking and positioning is sometimes the most important thing as a center-back, but I have experienced enough to understand the position.

“For sure Kolo was a big help. He’s got so many games and today was a positive all round I think, especially with the problems we had at the beginning of the game.

“I think it could have cost us but it didn’t and we just now have to go into the second leg with the same approach.”

Liverpool currently is in the midst of an injury crisis at the key, center-back position. Martin Skrtel is expected to be out until early February. Mamadou Sakho missed the Stoke City game with a minor knee problem and only recently returned from a more serious one. Lovren’s hamstring injury could sideline him for the rest of January or longer, and Toure also has struggled with injuries this season.

Lucas raised eyebrows on Jan. 2 when he dropped to the back line for the final 10 minutes of Liverpool’s loss to West Ham. Evidently, Klopp was offering a glimpse into the near future — one Lucas embraces fully.

Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@LFCBoston

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