Lucas excelled when pressed into an emergency centre-half in the win at Stoke on Tuesday. There’s no indication the Liverpool midfielder could be considering a career change, but here’s five other men who raised their game in new positions.
The Brazilian, forced to switch to centre-half when Dejan Lovren limped off with a hamstring injury, was named Man of the Match as the Reds claimed a 1-0 win at the Britannia Stadium in their Capital One Cup semi-final first leg.
Although there’s no suggestion Lucas is considering a permanent career switch, the tough-tackling midfielder is set to start in central defence against Exeter in the FA Cup on Friday.
Lucas, however, shouldn’t be too disheartened. Here are five other players, who have raised their game to new levels when switching positions.
Signed from Liverpool as a central midfielder, a combination of injuries and strong competition in the Barca midfield have forced Mascherano to largely operate as a central defender for the Blaugrana. Even though he’ll probably always be considered a centre midfielder by trade, it’s probably safe to assume his days in the position are over now.
Joined Aston Villa as a raw 17-year-old trainee way back in 1997, Barry started life as a centre-half, before switching to left-back, then left midfield, before settling into his now renowned role as a holding midfielder. Approaching 600 Premier League appearances, it seems Barry’s switch was a wise one.
Now regarded as one of the world’s finest centre-halves, you only have to look at Manchester City’s defensive record with and without Kompany this season to understand his importance to the team.
So much so, that it’s easy to forget that Kompany initially made his name in the game as a holding midfielder.
Signed by Tottenham as a left-back from Southampton back in 2007, hands up who can remember Bale playing second fiddle to Benoit Assou-Ekotto at White Hart Lane? In fact, it wasn’t until January 2010 that Bale was first a regular run in an advanced role for Spurs. Now the world’s most expensive player after joining Real Madrid for £85.3million, reports suggest we may soon see the return of Bale in the Premier League.
Operated as a winger during his time with Juventus, Henry was switched to a central striker upon signing for Arsenal in 1999. Henry stayed at Arsenal for eight years and became the club’s all-time leading scorer with 228 goals in all competitions.
Is there anyone you feel needs to be included on this list? Let us know in the comments box, below…