During pre-season it seemed highly likely that Lucas Leiva would be on his way out of Liverpool.
In fact, he didn't even make the squad for the opening two matches against Stoke City and Bournemouth.
He wasn't in Brendan Rodgers' plans and appeared to be behind the likes of Joe Allen, James Milner and Jordan Henderson in the centre midfield position. But with injuries to Henderson and Allen, Rodgers had no choice but to select the Brazilian midfielder in the starting 11.
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There was talk of Lucas leaving Anfield for Besiktas on the day that the Reds played Arsenal away. Surprisingly, the midfielder played and put in a great performance at that.
Lucas hasn't let his manager or his club down since. He is the only real defensive midfielder the club have and his ability allows the attacking players to flourish.
At the start of the season we saw Rodgers playing a flat two in the centre of the park with Milner and Henderson partnering each other.
They're just too similar, neither assigned to play defensive and neither assigned to go forward. They were supposed to be a 'double pivot' but they just sat in the midfield, rendering their creativity useless.
But with Lucas in there, it has allowed whoever is playing alongside him a chance to express themselves.
Milner was inspirational against Aston Villa at the weekend with a goal and an assist. It was no coincidence that it was because Lucas was allowing him to get forward more often.
But, according to the numbers, his own game was pretty impressive too. He made the most passes in the Premier League last weekend completing 100 whilst also making the most tackles with 11.
Despite these stats, his breaking-up of play and his mobility might not be as good as it used to be but just his position can sometimes just his positioning is enough.
The more attacking players can get forward freely without the worry of being caught out because they know it's Lucas' to prevent any counter-attack.
It may have only come about through a couple of injuries but Lucas could be key to Liverpool's season.
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