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Hunter: Torres' landmark boosts Atletico

La Liga
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Gerrard backs Lucas

Steven Gerrard does not believe Lucas Leiva will become a victim of Liverpool's summer spending, despite the arrivals of two big-money midfield players.

Aquilani 'wanted Italy stay'
Downing 'not for sale'
Reds sign up Adam

Kenny Dalglish has already added Charlie Adam and Jordan Henderson to his squad during the transfer window, and the Liverpool manager is also reported to be lining up Stewart Downing from Aston Villa.

Questions are being raised over the make-up of the Liverpool side for next season, with Adam, Henderson and the potential arrival of Downing surely providing three guaranteed midfield starters alongside Gerrard in the Reds midfield.

Liverpool also have the likes of Alberto Aquilani, Jay Spearing, Raul Meireles, Maxi Rodriguez and Joe Cole still on their books, in addition to long-time right-sided midfielder Dirk Kuyt.

However, Gerrard believes Lucas has the necessary attitude to ensure he is not one of those to be sacrificed, having make significant strides during his 47 appearances last season.

"He has a strong, positive mentality," said Gerrard. "I've seen all the difficulties he's been through. He has basically rolled his sleeves up, worked hard and improved.

"He has got stronger in the gym and has never let his head go down. He's been prepared to fight to prove a lot of people wrong and was consistently one of our best players last season."

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