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Brazilian glad to have another South American at club

Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva has heaped praise on new signing and friend Luis Suarez, believing he is at the club for the long haul.

The Uruguayan international arrived at Anfield for £22 million from Dutch giants Ajax in the January transfer window and is performing as though he has been there for five years.

So far, the former Groningen man has one goal and three assists in the Liverpool shirt, and Lucas is one of his many new fans.

Speaking to Liverpoolfc.tv, Lucas said: “It was a great signing for Liverpool. In the Premier League he has already done a lot of things for the team.

“He's scored one and a half goals - the other half was Dirk [Kuyt]! He's also got three assists, so we are really happy with the way he's settled.

"He's here for a long time and hopefully he'll keep doing well. He is really strong, he can beat players and score goals, and I think he's the perfect striker for the Premier League."

Although the two players are from different countries and more than 600 miles separate their respective places of birth, Lucas is glad to have a fellow South American at the club.

He continued: “To have another South American is always important for me because the culture is more similar to what I know in Brazil.

"As soon as he signed his contract I went out with him for dinner to try to introduce him. Maxi is always helping him too.

“The South American and Spanish guys are trying to help him because the language is the same."

The Uruguayan is currently learning English in an attempt to fully fit in with the lifestyle in England, but Lucas believes that although his English isn’t yet perfect, the atmosphere at the club and stadium has helped him settle quickly nonetheless.

He added: “He is a funny guy, always joking. The atmosphere in the club is very good and that's why he's doing really well.

“When you change clubs and countries it's always difficult to settle - but the atmosphere at Melwood and Anfield has helped him to settle very quickly."

The Brazilian international also went on to speak about current manager Kenny Dalglish, someone he believes is highly important to the club, and someone he respects greatly.

He said: “We know how important he is for the club and for the fans. The players know how good he was.

"Everything he says makes sense and we believe that what he says is to help us improve our game as a team and as players.

“We are really happy and we have the confidence now to go anywhere and try to win. That's what he gives to us.

"He likes to talk about tactics but the message is always to believe in ourselves and to make sure we do everything with commitment and desire.

“He talks about tactics and then he gives us a lot of confidence to go onto the pitch."

The Reds haven’t played a league match since they beat Manchester United 3-1 at Anfield on March 6, and despite being knocked out of the Europa League, Lucas is confident they can replicate the kind of performance they produced against United.

He concluded: “It's an example of how we should play in every game, though it's not easy.

“If we play like we did against Manchester United we can dream and look to be in a better position at the end of the season."

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