Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard has said that one of the main reasons for the disappointing season Liverpool had last season was the absence of Lucas Leiva. The Brazil international has grown into one of the important members of the squad due to his defensive abilities and also the ability to start an attack.

Even though the 32-year-old Steven Gerrard missed large portions of the last season, he has said that the absence of Lucas Leiva was more crucial. Liverpool finished the season in eighth position, while it was the record lowest after many seasons. In the second half of the campaign– when Lucas Leiva was injured – Liverpool’s form would have placed them in the 17th position had it not been for the points accumulated in the first half of the season.

The 25-year-old was initially criticised for his poor performances during the reign of Rafael Benitez. However, he has gone on to become one of the important members of the squad. After more than six months out of the first team, Lucas Leiva finally made his first appearance in the pre-season friendly match against Toronto FC. Steven Gerrard has expressed his confidence that the team will be able to do well this season with the Brazilian international back in the squad.

“It [Lucas’ injury] was a big factor [on our season], because when he got the injury he was probably our best player, form-wise. He was playing superbly well, and he plays that position in the team where he does the ugly work, the work you don’t really like to do: breaking up the play, protecting the back four, and when we lose the ball and teams counter-attack, he stops a lot of goals. It’s great to have him back. He’s a great person; he’s great for the squad,” said Steven Gerrard.