People just don’t know how good Lucas is

Shorn of Alonso and the Spaniard’s replacement Alberto Aquilani, Benitez placed greater responsibility upon the 24-year-old in 2009/10, and his faith was rewarded with much more assured displays. Lucas featured 35 times for the club in the Premier League that season, and his progress led to him being voted the club’s Young Player of the Season.

After Benitez’s departure, many envisaged an Anfield exit for the Brazilian, but he stayed at Liverpool and continued his good form into the new season. He maintained his first-team berth under Roy Hodgson and Kenny Dalglish, and his consistency culminated in a new long-term contract.

Moving to play football in a different continent at a young age is a difficult transition to make at the best of times, but this is made even harder when one’s displays are constantly criticised. Instead of moaning or pining for a move away, the boy from Dourados knuckled down and worked hard to become a player worthy of the red shirt.

In this era of quick-fix fickleness, it’s nice to see how far a little hard work, faith and support can go.

Article courtesy of Zarif Rasul at Football Fancast