At this point I'd rather see Lucas come good then seeing a new signing flourish in our midfield.I'm doing my utmost to not assume Alonso's definitely departing, but it's difficult. And the discussion over his possible replacement is a valid one, as much as I don't really desire to tackle the issue.
But I agree with the above comment, and for two reasons – but I'm still a little nervous about him as an everyday player, as I am about pretty much every player until they establish themselves.
One, I've been underwhelmed by the names mooted as replacements. Some are good players – even potentially Liverpool-quality – but most would necessitate a change in system (which I don't want to happen, as it'd probably break up the Gerrard/Torres partnership). And none brings to the table what Alonso can.
Two, Lucas knows Benitez's system having been a Liverpool player for two full seasons, and has turned in some good performances against big teams (United, Inter, Chelsea). And while he's had his scapegoat moments (Wigan and Everton during the dire winter stretch last season), he's also consistently improved during his tenure. And he's only 22 years old.
But, I'm admittedly still a bit wary of the Masch/Lucas pairing against the likes of Stoke and Birmingham (among others). And I find that tough to reconcile with my firm belief in the 4-2-3-1 and the Gerrard/Torres pairing.
Hopefully, this will all be moot, but while hope springs eternal, the spring often runs dry.