The Reds boss admitted that Lucas has paved his way back into contention in the midfield after his recent displays.
While much of the press conference was surrounding questions regarding Steven Gerrard’s situation at Anfield, Brendan Rodgers also had words of praise for Lucas Leiva who has earned his way back into contention following his impressive displays in the middle of the park.
“Steven was a player who could orchestrate attacks from deep, with the players we had up front, his quality could exploit that,” said Rodgers.
“The dynamic up front has changed so I have to think of a restructure so we look at a different type of midfielder to come in. Lucas is aggressive but can also attack. Ludogorets, Stoke – he’s been excellent. It’s been a great credit to him and his professionalism.”
Brendan Rodgers spoke about the contract situation of skipper Steven Gerrard and feels he deserves the opportunity to contemplate his next career move.
“Steven’s representatives, and the club have been spoken and he has obviously been offered a contract here,” said Rodgers.
“At this moment in time that is where it is at. Everything Steven has done here, the 16 years he has been in the first team, show he deserves the utmost respect and he should be given time to consider that.”
“It is a big decision in terms of committing where his next contract should be. It certainly won’t be about money.I love working with Steven – he is arguably the best player who has played in the Premier League – I hope that continues, but he deserves as much time as it takes to make the decision.”
The existing deal expires next summer hence speculations are rife that Gerrard might leave the club after almost 16 years.
“He’s been an outstanding player in my time here and he’s at the stage of his career where it’s not about the number of games but the level of games,” added Rodgers.
“I see the talent every day and I have to manage that and put him into the games where he is most effective.He is a wonderful player and still have world class talent. When you get older you have to manage that – it is just managing the period of his life he is in.Every top player will come to this point, but it is not a problem. We speak a lot and he deserves that respect.”
Rodgers revealed Mario Balotelli and Mamadou Sakho will miss the trip to Leicester on Tuesday, although the French defender has now returned to training for the first time since sustaining a thigh injury in September.
Probable Starting Line-up (4-2-3-1): Simon Mignolet(GK); Glen Johnson, Kolo Toure, Martin Skrtel, Jose Enrique; Lucas Leiva, Joe Allen; , Adam Lallana, Steven Gerrard, Raheem Sterling; Rickie Lambert