Liverpool have been on a terrific run of form recently, beating Chelsea twice and drawing with Manchester City in the past two weeks. This run would not have been possible without one man in particular, Lucas Leiva.
In his past few games, he has been the engine in the Liverpool midfield, making constant interceptions and tackles. He has the best successful tackle record in the league and has also greatly improved his passing game.
He has become an offensive, as well as a defensive, asset. After seeing the match against Manchester City, a thought struck me.
How would Liverpool cope if Lucas was to get injured? Then, the worst possible situation occurred.
In the Carling cup game against Chelsea, Lucas was playing a stormer until, when going in for a tackle, he injured his anterior cruciate ligament.
He has been ruled out for the rest of the season.
In this slideshow, I will explore the ways Liverpool may deal with his injury.
Please enjoy and voice your opinion in the comments.
This would be the most radical and most expensive option. However, if Liverpool begin to struggle regularly without Lucas, this may be the only way.
While not many options will be available in January, a few names have been thrown around such as Barcelona's Seydou Keita and Rennes' Yann M'vila.
M'vila would be my first choice, as he is a young and very talented player. Unfortunately, he would be fairly expensive. After being linked with Manchester City, Liverpool may just not have the money for him.
The other option is Barcelona midfielder Sedou Keita, who is from Mali. He is apparently unhappy at the amount of playing time he is getting at the Nou Camp and would probably be much cheaper than M'vila.
However, he is much older and, in my opinion, not as skilled. Both players would definitely boost the Liverpool team, but I think these options are unlikely.
Until January, I think this is the option Kenny will go for. Jonjo Shelvey has already been recalled from his Blackpool loan move to cover for Lucas, and Jay Spearing played against Chelsea in the Carling cup match.
These are both very talented players and could potentially fill the very large hole left by Lucas's injury.
Another possibility would be Conor Coady, who so far has not played on the first team under Dalglish.
These are all possibilities, but I do not think these players have the defensive abilities to fill Lucas's position.
But you never know. In Kenny we trust.
There are a two options here.
The first would be playing three center backs—Agger, Skrtel and Carragher/Coates. This would lessen the defensive burden on the midfield and allow Liverpool to play two attacking midfielders, such as Charlie Adam and Jordan Henderson.
However, although this worked against Chelsea last year, Liverpool did lose to WBA the following week in the same formation.
The other option, though people might disagree with me here, would be to play Daniel Agger in the defensive midfielder role. We already know he is a world class defender, and at certain times this season, I have seen glimpses of attacking flair from the Danish center back.
I think that if Liverpool moved Agger higher up the pitch, it could either be genius or a complete and utter disaster.
Will there be more results to dance about?
Unfortunately, I think Liverpool will struggle without Lucas and I really hope Kenny Dalglish and Steve Clark come up with a solution soon.
That is just my opinion on the situation. What do you think?