The doors of Anfield have (mostly) been swinging one way this summer. Six signings have given Liverpool fans that familiar July feeling and things are looking up for next year. But what about the deadwood that left things looking so bad at the end of last season?
Fabio Borini, Rickie Lambert and Mario Balotelli are, if any takers can be found, going to leave. You'll do well to find a fan who thinks that's anything other than a good idea. But Brendan Rodgers has a terribly bloated squad at his disposal and it will need more than just a clear out of the strikers.
Along with the likes of Jose Enrique and Sebastian Coates, one key player who has been thrown into the reported 'out' column this summer has been Lucas. The Brazilian is perhaps the definition of a marmite footballer but it was no surprise that Liverpool's resurgence last season coincided with Lucas' return to fitness.
When he got injured yet again, Liverpool's form slumped. So why does Rodgers want to sell him? His injury record could be one reason but even at that it seems wrong to think that he could be easily replaced when you consider the amount of work he goes through for the team.
833 - Since he joined Liverpool in July 2007, Lucas Leiva has made more tackles than any other player in the Premier League (833). Steel.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 29, 2015
We've discussed before how single stats shouldn't be used to build an argument but we're doing it anyway. Lucas may play the ball sideways and he may give away quite a lot of frees but, if you can get him fit, it would be nearly impossible to find a better player to break up things in midfield.
The work he does, goes unnoticed and if, as expected he is part of the cull at Anfield in the next month or so, we'd suggest Rodgers is making a big mistake.