Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva has backed Brazilian starlet Allan Rodrigues de Souza to go and make a significant impact at Anfield. The 18-year-old was invited to train with the club during the summer and did enough to convince the Reds to bring him in from Internacional on a permanent basis.
The midfielder was soon shipped out on loan to Finnish club SJK, where he has made six appearances and scored two goals having already sufficiently impressed during his spell with the Liverpool. The youngster left a particularly positive impression on his fellow Brazilian Lucas, who believes Allan will go onto fight his way into the first team in the coming years.
"I met Allan when he came to train at Melwood a few months ago," Lucas told the latest edition of the official Liverpool FC magazine. "He's been round to my house and we talked a little bit. We had him here training intensely for a couple of weeks and he is another one for the future.
"He played in my city for Gremio's biggest rivals, Internacional, which is very famous in Brazil for producing players. In the two weeks he was here we could see that he has a great future ahead of him. Now he has gone away to get some experience and playing time on loan in Finland and hopefully at some point in the next few years he will be ready to make an impact for Liverpool."
Liverpool shelled out a reported fee of £500,000, according to the Liverpool Echo, to bring Allan to Merseyside. He was one of a handful of low-profile youngsters to join the club during the summer transfer window, along with 16-year-old Bobby Adekanye, who was a free agent after his move from Ajax to Barcelona was deemed illegal, while 17-year-old striker Brooks Lennon was also recruited from MLS side Real Salt Lake.