Lucas Leiva has revealed that he almost quit Liverpool for Serie A after Roy Hodgson was appointed the Anfield manager back in 2010, as reported in the Liverpool Echo.

The 26-year-old midfielder was signed by Rafa Benitez from Gremio in 2007 for an estimated £5 million.

However, with the sacking of Benitez in 2010 and the subsequent selection of Hodgson as the Liverpool manager, Lucas felt that his stint at Anfield was drawing to an end.

Hodgson, who currently manages the England national team, brought in Christian Poulsen – a move that apparently undermined the Brazilian’s role in the side.

Lucas has disclosed that he was on the verge of departing from Liverpool, but Hodgson’s removal from the post in January 2011 and the arrival of Kop legend, Kenny Dalglish, convinced him to change his mind.

He said: “I felt as though it was almost the end for me at the club. I nearly left. I knew they were looking for players. They signed Christian Poulsen at the time, and that was a message for me, that I was not really in their plans.

“I was really close to leaving to go to Italy. For some reason I did not go, I stayed. After a few games, I got my place back in the team and I started to play a bit more. 

“Then Kenny came in. I really started to play with a lot of confidence and at the end of the year I was voted Player of the Season by the fans. So that moment was very important.”

The inventive playmaker experienced a stuttering start to his Anfield career, initially competing with the likes of Xabi Alonso and Steven Gerrard for a place in the team.

After biding his time on the bench, he was able to successfully establish himself at the club and is currently considered the mainstay of the Reds midfield under Brendan Rodgers.

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