Belfast Telegraph

Lucas impressed with Allen

Liverpool's Lucas Leiva likes what he has seen of fellow midfielder Joe Allen so far and has high hopes for the Reds' new recruit in the 2012-13 season.

Allen has begun training with the Merseyside outfit after his move from Swansea was confirmed last week. In swapping the Liberty Stadium for Anfield this summer, the 22-year-old Wales international has followed in the footsteps of manager Brendan Rodgers, and Lucas can understand why the new Liverpool boss was so keen to bring Allen with him.

"He had a training session with us and we can see what a quality player he is so hopefully he can be a key player for us during the season," Lucas told www.liverpoolfc.com.

"It's one more player to fight for a place and it's really good for the club. We need more than 11 players to be successful.

"He had a good season last year and he had a great tournament in the Olympics as well.

"He has confidence and he has experience so hopefully he will do well for us."

Liverpool wrapped up their pre-season friendlies schedule with a 3-1 win over German side Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday and have also advanced to the Europa League play-offs stage by emerging triumphant from a two-legged tie against FC Gomel of Belarus.

That has provided some encouragement ahead of a Barclays Premier League campaign in which the Reds will be looking for a significant improvement on last term's disappointing eighth-placed finish, and Leiva says although it will not be easy, the team have their eyes firmly set on achieving a top-four berth.

"Of course we have been doing well in pre-season but now it will be a big test for us," the Brazil international said.

"I think we will have a better idea when the season starts. Let's go game by game and see what we are able to achieve, but hopefully we can get a Champions League spot which is what we are looking for."

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