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The Brazilian made his first appearance since August in Saturday's win over Southampton and believes his presence can unshackle his more attack-minded team-mates

Liverpool midfielder Lucas believes his return can free up team-mate Joe Allen to play in a more attacking role.

The Brazilian made his long-awaited comeback from injury in the Reds' 1-0 home win over Southampton on Saturday, after being sidelined since the second week of the season with a thigh injury.

In his absence, Allen, a summer signing from Swansea, has occupied a deeper midfield role than the one he performed with such distinction in south Wales last season.

However, now that Lucas has returned, he believes his Welsh midfield counterpart will now be free to contribute more in the attacking third of the pitch.

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"I didn't have that much time to work with Joe on the pitch because he came towards the end of the pre-season and afterwards I was injured," he told the official Liverpool club website.

"But we could see Joe getting forward to join the attack and create chances - that's what he used to do at Swansea so he feels very comfortable there knowing that we will always be behind the ball and trying to cover.

"I hope I can help in this way to give freedom for him. Stevie [Gerrard], [Jordan] Henderson, [Nuri] Sahin and Jonjo [Shelvey]. That's my job and I'm delighted to be able to help again."

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