Hodgson hints at new deal for Lucas after Brazilian finally proves his worth

Although Lucas Leiva would never publicly thank his lucky stars for Steven Gerrard's recent injury, part of him must be grateful for his recent serendipitous opportunity to impress at Anfield, particularly as it now appears that he has done enough to win a new Liverpool contract.

The Brazilian has been at Liverpool since July 2007 but has spent most of his career trying to convince the Kop he is worthy of the shirt but the idea that he is not up to scratch has been revised in recent weeks.

Gerrard's hamstring problem – picked up on England duty last month – means Lucas has featured alongside Raul Meireles in the middle of the park and their relationship seems to improve and flourish exponentially with every match played.

Gerrard, who will miss the Newcastle United game tomorrow with his complaint, is still Liverpool's talisman, their rock and the creator of so much good for Roy Hodgson's side but there is no denying that Lucas is now on the upward curve Liverpool first anticipated when they signed him from Brazilian side Gremio.

"I think there are plans to give Lucas a new deal," Hodgson said. "Damien Comolli mentioned to me about getting in touch with his agent to get a new contract sorted out. Would we like to keep him? That's a resounding yes.

"Questions about Lucas, David Ngog and Ryan Babel are based on judgements and decisions that were made before I arrived at the club and I find them very difficult to answer.

"They have all worked hard to get into the team. Lucas and David Ngog have succeeded and Ryan Babel got his first big chance on Monday and took it with both feet."

Hodgson has been around long enough – and knows the machinations of the transfer market well enough – to know that after the festive season comes the silly season as he was forced to deny Liverpool are interested in a plethora of potential signings.

Ashley Young, Ronaldinho and Ajax captain Luis Suarez have all been linked with Liverpool while it has also been suggested that defender Glen Johnson may be leaving.

"I've got to say, Ronaldinho and Suarez are players we've never even thought about," Hodgson added.

"I wouldn't have thought there is a manager in the Barclays Premier League who hasn't given Ashley Young a thought at some stage or another.

"But giving a player a thought and thinking he's a good player, and signing him are two vastly different things.

"I could give you quite a long list of players playing in the Barclays Premier League who I admire and think are very, very good.

"[And] as far as I'm concerned, Glen Johnson will be a Liverpool player certainly for as long as his contract and possibly beyond that. We're very happy with him. He's a top-class player, an England international – why should we want to lose him?"

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness