Lucas: Without Arsenal performance, I would have left Liverpool

Lucas Leiva insists he did not want to leave Liverpool but would have if Brendan Rodgers had not called on him against Arsenal.

Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva feels he would have left Anfield but for his impressive performance away to Arsenal in late August.

Lucas was not in the squad for Liverpool's opening two games of the 2015-16 Premier League season but was given a starting berth in their third match at the Emirates Stadium when captain Jordan Henderson was unavailable through injury.

The Brazilian defensive midfielder was one of the best players on the pitch in the scoreless draw and Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has started him in every game since.

Without that performance, Lucas is confident he would have departed Anfield before the end of the transfer window but the 28-year-old is happy to have continued his time with Liverpool.

"Maybe if there hadn't been the Arsenal game, I wouldn't be here now but I always believe that things happen for a reason," he said on Monday.

"I'm very happy that I stayed and I will keep fighting for the club as I have been doing for the past eight years."

Lucas insists he did not want to leave Liverpool but after watching his starting opportunities gradually dwindle over the past few seasons, and with the arrival of James Milner, the former Gremio man believed he had no choice if he wanted to play.

"I was very frustrated that I couldn't make the squad for the first two games, but I had to keep training and working hard because we have a lot of examples where football can change in a moment," he said.

"Of course, I never wanted to leave Liverpool. I have a home here and my family are very happy but sometimes you do find yourself thinking about another solution if you think that will keep your career going."