Liverpool have received a massive boost as Lucas Leiva returns to action for the Reds U-23 team in a 3-1 win at the Emirates stadium against Arsenal. The Brazilian expects to be back in consideration for the first team after the international break when the club meetsLeicester City on Saturday, 10 September.
Lucas was out with a hamstring problem which kept him on the sidelines for five weeks, but he looked comfortable starting at centre-back against the Gunners where he got 45 minutes under his belt. It was a morale-boosting win for the U23s, who had been hammered 4-1 by Chelsea and Southampton in the previous two fixtures. Lucas' experience at the back went a long way in keeping the Gunners out.
Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp will be looking for more options in the middle of the park after their 2-0 loss to Burnley last weekend, with the likes of Jordan Henderson struggling to live up to expectations. Lucas, who joined the Reds in 2007, will be a good option to fall back on should the Reds need more protection at the back, given their flair going forward.
"I've been training for about 10 days already with the team but the manager [Klopp] felt it was a good chance for me to get some minutes," Lucas told Liverpoolfc.com. "Of course, there is an international break where I can have some more training and hopefully get back to 100%.
"I'm fit, it's just about playing time now. Of course, I missed some of the pre-season, but I wasn't out for too long so I didn't miss much fitness-wise. Now it's about game time and, hopefully, I'll get that. We have two weeks where you can work a lot and have some behind-closed-doors games."
Liverpool will now face Tottenham this weekend as they look to get the better of another north London rival in the league, having beaten Arsenal 4-3 in their opening game at the Emirates.