Tommy Smith: Lucas streets behind Alonso

Former Liverpool defender Tommy Smith believes Brazilian youngster Lucas Leiva is not the man to fill Xabi Alonso's boots at Anfield this season, suggesting the starlet is streets behind the Spaniard. Alonso had long been linked with a move to 31-time la Liga champions Real Madrid, who eventually got their man earlier this month for a fee in the region of £30 million to go alongside fellow stellar signings Kaka, Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema. The 27-year-old's presence at the heart of the Reds' midfield was immediately missed, as Rafael Benitez's men lost their opening Premier League encounter of the new campaign 2-1 at Tottenham Hotspur. And with new midfield recruit Alberto Aquilani currently sidelined through injury, Anfield icon Smith - who made more than 600 league outings for the club from 1962-78 - doubts whether Leiva is good enough to fill the void. “I’m not panicking about our Premier League title chances after one match. But I am worried," he said in the Liverpool Echo. “Alarm bells started to ring for me as soon as Xabi Alonso left the club. “It has been suggested that Lucas may be able to do the job that Alonso did, but I don’t buy that. “I don’t think for one minute that the two players are even in the same street. “They’re very different types of midfielder and Alonso’s ability to switch the play and the service he can provide to Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard was badly missed at White Hart Lane.”  LIVERPOOL FANS! Check’s ever-expanding interviews archive for more stuff to read: Web Exclusives Ian Rush, Craig Johnston Q&A Steven Gerrard, Fernando Torres One on One Michael Owen, Nicolas Anelka, Kevin Keegan Boy's A Bit Special Danny Guthrie Ask A Silly Question John Barnes, Peter Crouch, Luis Garcia, John Aldridge Perfect XI Jamie Carragher What Happened Next? Julian Dicks And Another Thing Being a Big Four fan Plus! Rate Liverpool players (and others) on Talentspotter