Liverpool's new £20m signing Alberto Aquilani has been ruled out for the first two months of the Premier League season despite only passing a medical at Anfield yesterday.
The 25-year-old, who joined the Reds from Roma yesterday, successfully came through the rigorous medical but is recovering from ankle surgery which saw him miss the tail end of last year's Serie A championship.
With Xabi Alonso having finally secured a move to Real Madrid during the week Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez moved quickly to sign Aquilani. But the news that the talented Italian will iss the start of the season now puts the onus on Lucas to step up to the mark and deliver on his promise at youth level.
The Brazilian scored in Liverpool's 2-1 home defeat to Atletico Madrid this afternoon but the biggest headache for Benitez wasn't the midfield which did well but the back four. Worryingly for the Spaniard defence talisman Jamie Carragher limped off injured.
With Sami Hyypia and Alvaro Arbeloa having left the club in the summer and Martin Skrtel, Daniel Agger and Fabio Aurelio all currently in the treatment room Liverpool are looking short at the back ahead of their season opener against Tottenham next week.