Liverpool’s longest-serving player Lucas Leiva has admitted he’s rejected several chances to leave the club – but none more so than in 2010.
The Brazilian midfielder could finally leave Anfield this summer after 10 years at the club – but he admits he would definitely have left in 2010 when Roy Hodgson was appointed and had the club not sanctioned Javier Mascherano’s sale to Barcelona.
“Many times I had chances to leave,” he told The Anfield Wrap. “Sometimes the club didn’t want me to leave, sometimes I didn’t want to go, but I always felt that there is something missing still.
“I thought if I leave like that it’s not the way I wish.”
The closest the Brazilian came to leaving was in 2010, when Roy Hodgson was appointed manager.
“Always when a new manager comes in you doubt your future, you’re not sure,” he added. “He comes in and brings his players. We had a lot of talk of Mascherano leaving.
“All the big players, Mascherano, [Fernando] Torres, wasn’t really happy, you could see in his [Torres] body language, we had a lot of problems off the field, with the owners. So I think everything started to affect us.
“And then of course for me it was really hard because I didn’t know [my future] until Mascherano left. I knew that if Mascherano had stayed I probably would have to leave because there was no space for me. So he left and then I had to stay. [But] it was like if he goes ‘you stay’, if he stays, ‘you go’.”
Lucas remains a key part of Jurgen Klopp’s first-team squad at Anfield, having survived the reigns of Rafa Benitez, Hodgson, Kenny Dalglish and Brendan Rodgers.