How will Liverpool cope without Lucas?

Updated: December 6, 2011, 11:20 AM ET
By Michael Cox | Special to ESPN.com

Lucas Leiva's rise from underappreciated bit-part player to widely acclaimed midfield destroyer is rare in football. In a world dominated by knee-jerk reactions and stubborn opinions, first impressions are important. The first impression of Lucas from many was that, well, he wasn't very good.

It took rather too long for Lucas to receive the praise he deserved. It was akin to an underground band breaking through into the mainstream -- a sudden, surprising bout of appreciation ...

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