I like Lucas as a person, he was loyal and good to us. I am grateful of his excellent attitude, but I never once believed in those 10 years he was good enough for us. I always said he would do better in Italy because it suits his midfield style much better. I believe this is mutually beneficial for both clubs and Lucas himself. I would be very happy if he returned to us some day in a coaching role. Perhaps once Gerrard becomes Klopps assistant he would be perfect to be the u21 coach.
I think this is the problem with the 'do not say a bad word about Lucas' mob. You can in their eyes call him decent and nothing more but you must have to attribute the loyalty and professionalism tag to the end of that acknowledgement if you want to escape the diatribe that will undoubtedly follow.
I get that people have a soft spot for Lucas 'the man' and do not for one minute begrudge him or them of acknowledging his admirable qualities, which in fairness don't seem to be in abundance throughout the world of football anymore.
Yet, instead of these qualities being juxtaposed with Lucas 'the player' they're all rolled into one and calling Lucas an average player who was capable of the odd stonker just isn't enough for such folk, it's hearsay.
I'll admit I was one of the figurative "boo boys" when Lucas first came here from Gremio - I'm not going to lie. I thought he was f**king hopeless. And to be fair, he wasn't far off that when he first joined when he was touted as a box-to-box midfielder - which he never became under Rafa. To give him his dues he stuck to it, in the face of those who DID actually boo him match day (which is shockingly wrong), but he was like another Firmino IMHO, a player with no real position. He took a while to find himself IMO. He was learning the DM role under Rafa IIRC - and he didn't measure up to his predecessor Hamman. The reckless fouls especially have stuck with him throughout his career like a signature, and he's put the team in so many precarious positions down the years that he just irritated me.
However, he slightly warmed on me in his later (more recent) years, and he definitely matured with experience like a good bottle of red. He learned to read the game really well, ala Alonso. What he lacked in speed was made up by his footballing brain - all brought about through his experience. Those clumsy signature fouls weren't just clumsy anyone, there was a spattering of cynicism to them now, and he'd happily take one for the team. He was a good team player who learnt to specialise a role, but was limited as his apparent box-to-box-ness had all but disappeared - and his creativity to move the ball forward had evaporated if ever it was there in the first place.
When I think of DM's, I think of Hamman, Alonso, and Mashcerano the destroyer, Lucas for me isn't/wasn't on their level by any stretch but he'd come along way from the hopeless days of his beginning. Still, a decent/good player but then Jürgen tried him at CB, and while I criticised Lucas for his performances there it was on the manager who would toy with this experiment because he left himself with no other options. Lucas tried to do the job the manager asked him, some days he'd do it okay, others it would be pretty much a nightmare - and poor Lucas was the cat that would often get kicked for it.
He turned out to be decent/useful player. But the superlatives have often been exaggerated and I can't help but feel Lucas the player epitomised where we have found ourselves as a club over the last decade. I wish him all the best, and obviously would never begrudge him a testimonial or a return to the club in some shape or form in the future.