Lazio have completed the signing of Brazilian midfielder Lucas Leiva from Liverpool for a fee reported to be in the region of £5 million.
Liverpool have made an official statement to confirm that Lucas Leiva has ended his ten-year spell at Anfield to join Lazio. The Serie A club have signed the Brazilian midfielder in a £5 million deal, as per a report from Sky Sports.
“Thank you for all the support, especially in difficult times, that’s when it means a lot. We all know that Liverpool fans are really special and they were always here for me,” Lucas said in his farewell statement to Liverpool supporters.
“Liverpool as a club and Liverpool as a city is a unique place. I think it’s different from everywhere. I’ll always be watching and supporting Liverpool and for sure I’ll be back, in the city to visit friends and watch games in the future,” he added.
Lucas progressed through the ranks at boyhood club Gremio before making his senior debut in 2005. An impressive two-year spell with the first-team saw the player attract interest from Europe before Liverpool snapped up the then-20-year-old in the summer of 2007.
— S.S.Lazio (@OfficialSSLazio) July 18, 2017
Over the last ten years, Lucas was one of the most reliable players for the Reds, having been a mainstay in the first-team setup at Anfield. The veteran midfielder went on to make 346 appearances for Liverpool and was their longest serving player following the departure of Steven Gerrard in 2015.
However, a spate of injuries heavily restricted his game time in the last couple of seasons as Lucas was reduced to a bit part role. His versatility, though, made him an asset for the Merseyside club, as he would often start as a centre-back.
The player’s ten-year association with Liverpool, though, has come to an end as he completed a permanent transfer to Lazio in a £5 million deal. While it remains to be seen if Lucas can become secure regular game time at Stadio Olimpico, the move provides him to take on a fresh challenge and resurrect his career.
The player’s ability to play as a centre-back as well as a midfielder will definitely be an asset for the Serie A club. On top of that Lucas brings with himself a wealth of experience and knowledge that can immensely benefit youngsters like Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Danilo Cataldi and others in their learning curve.
The Brazilian will also provide a dependable presence to the Biancocelesti, making him the perfect replacement for his namesake, Lucas Biglia, who recently sealed a move to AC Milan. It now remains to be seen if Lucas’s acquisition can help Lazio in their bid to secure qualification to the Champions League next season.