Lucas Leiva is the answer to Liverpool's frailties at centre-back

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Football News

Liverpool's defence has come under intense scrutiny at various points this season, with Jurgen Klopp's side frequently dropping vital points as a result of costly defensive errors.

Change is undoubtedly needed, but with the January transfer window a distant memory and 11 games remaining of this Premier League campaign, the Reds must look closer to home for their solution.

And midfield stalwart Lucas Leiva might be just that. The Brazilian has played out of position at the heart of Liverpool's defence in recent weeks, and after his display against Manchester City on Sunday, it's fair to say the change has proved a stroke of genius.


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Last Thursday saw the Anfield outfit progress to the Europa League last 16 following a 1-0 win over Augsburg, with Leiva partnering Mamadou Sakho at centre-back - and he looked perfectly at home as Liverpool snatched a 1-0 win and clean sheet.

Such was the influence the 29-year-old held in defence that Klopp opted to play him in the Capital One Cup final against Manuel Pellegrini's Citizens, even despite Dejan Lovren, Martin Skrtel and Kolo Toure all being available for selection.

It was a risky move by the club's eccentric German manager, of course, but the Reds reaped the benefits of playing the experienced Brazilian, who stepped up to the mark and delivered a solid performance, irrespective of the result.

Unfazed by the prospect of playing out of position and against the likes of Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling, Leiva was a commanding figure and arguably Liverpool's best player on the day, winning plenty of early headers and proving a composed presence at the back.

So, who's to say that moving Leiva into centre-back permanently wouldn't be a wise move? Far too often his contributions go unnoticed in central midfield, so perhaps the switch would allow him to earn the praise he rightly deserves.

The defensive qualities he possesses as a result of his natural position suggest he's a perfect fit at the heart of his side's defence.

Liverpool face City for the second time in four days on Wednesday before travelling to Crystal Palace this weekend, not to mention a double-header against Manchester United in the Europa League, suggesting Leiva's resurgence as a centre-back couldn't be more timely.

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