Jan Molby couldn't be more delighted that Lucas Leiva has signed a long-term deal with Liverpool, with the former Red insisting that the defensive midfielder is a key part of the side's future.

Leiva was particularly integral to the squad before he received a season-ending anterior cruciate knee ligament injury at the end of 2011, taking him through to the start of the 2012-13 campaign on the sidelines as he worked to get back to his best.

Further setbacks followed, but Brendan Rodgers believes the 26 year old will become a star again and offer the support he did before his knee troubles began.

And after sealing a new deal with Liverpool this week to keep him at the club for the long-term, Molby says it's a real boost for the side to know that one of their best men will be around for years to come.

Lucas Leiva
Lucas Leiva's new deal is a huge boost for Liverpool, Jan Molby says.

"I was delighted to see Lucas Leiva sign a new long-term contract at Liverpool," he said in the Liverpool Echo.

"After a difficult start to his Anfield career, Lucas has really won over the doubters and is now very popular with the fans. He always gives everything and never takes the easy option.

"This contract at the age of 26 means he's committing the best years of his career to the club.

"That midfield role he plays very well in front of the back four is all about the ability to read a game and I don't think he has peaked yet.

"There's a lot more to come from Lucas and retaining his services is a boost for Brendan Rodgers."

For Liverpool, the road to Champions League qualification will be a long one, with the side looking a likely to miss out on Europa League football next season as well.

But the side have made some positive changes this season, with Rodgers putting in place his tactics, and purchasing players such as Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho who have so far provided an improvement on the current squad.