Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva is relishing the prospect of extra competition for places at Anfield next season.

The 24-year-old Brazilian star has been one of the Reds' standout performers this season, having been given a new lease of life under interim manager Kenny Dalglish.

His consistent level of performance is highlighted by the fact that only Martin Skrtel has made more first-team appearances for Liverpool this campaign, and Lucas is hoping to keep momentum and take his form into next season.

"I am happy with the way I am playing. A lot of players have come already and I am still here and playing so that means they believe in my football and my qualities.

"This season I am trying to take the responsibility more than the previous season because a couple of players have left and I want to step up and show my real qualities.


"I have to finish well and keep that up next season, improve and fight for my place."

Under the ownership of Fenway Sports Group, Liverpool look set to replicate their January exploits by delving into the transfer market once again, in a bid to further improve the playing squad at Anfield.

But Lucas refuses to be put off by the anticipated increase in competition amongst the Liverpool midfield, and remains confident of playing a key role next term.

"Next season we will see what happens. They will sign players, of course, but I think I have shown I am capable of being in the team all the time.

"I don't think I would sign a new contract if the club did not have a plan for me in the future."

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