Lucas Leiva says he is having one of his best spells in nine years at Liverpool since Jurgen Klopp brought a “new energy” to Anfield.
Klopp was appointed last month to replace Brendan Rodgers and the Reds were unbeaten under the German until the 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace in the last match before the current international break.
Midfielder Lucas has praised the impact Klopp has had in the short time since his arrival, with the Brazilian already feeling a strong affinity for the former Borussia Dortmund coach.
“The arrival of Klopp has given me a new energy. He shows he has enough confidence in me,” he told Globo Esporte.
“Since he has arrived, we’ve had seven games in four weeks. It’s a high number, but he has managed to give the team a different face.
“I’ve learned a lot from him. He is very demanding, but has clear ideas about football. I have gotten along well with him in the first month.
“He is a pretty straightforward guy, as I imagined from knowing German culture, but he is open too.
“I feel close [to him], knowing he’s the boss.
“I’ve had great times at the club, but this has really been one of my best phases of my years at Liverpool.”
Lucas’s future at the club appeared uncertain under Rodgers, but Klopp appears to value the Brazilian’s qualities more than his predecessor. The 28-year-old has featured in all seven matches under the new boss and was given the captaincy for the defeat at home to Palace.
“It was a very special moment for me. I’ve been at Liverpool many years so I know how important it is to be captain of Liverpool,” he added.
“I’ve been here many years and managed to get the respect of the fans, but in the beginning it was very complicated.
“I had a very difficult start and really had to change people’s opinions. I wasn’t prepared. But I had the willpower, and the coaches that helped me evolve.
“I identify very strongly with Liverpool now, and I’m in my ninth season.”