Jordan Henderson: 'No-one is respected or admired more' than Lucas

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson says Lucas Leiva is the benchmark for professionalism and attitude throughout the squad.

Lucas, who has made over 300 appearances, is the club's longest-serving current player, having joined from Gremio in 2007, and Henderson said there is no player who sets a better example.

"In the dressing room there is no-one who is respected or admired more," Henderson wrote in his programme notes for the Bournemouth game.

"I think from the outside he is often portrayed as being the 'go-to person' for our lads from his own country of Brazil or any Spanish or Portuguese-speaking players who join Liverpool.

"But that does him a massive disservice. It doesn't even scratch the surface of his influence.

"I came from the north east and the help and support he gave me initially and still gives me to this day is massive.

"It doesn't matter to Lucas whether you're from Runcorn or Rio, he'll make time for you and look to offer his experience to help individuals or the team when it's needed."

Lucas's form has been indifferent this season, playing a bit-part role and deputising as a centre-back or defensive midfielder.

However, with Henderson injured the 30-year-old stepped up in the deep-lying midfield role for Saturday's Merseyside derby and impressed by keeping the Premier League's top scorer, Romelu Lukaku, quiet.

"I think his performance on Saturday sums him up: it doesn't matter to him whether it's Plymouth away in a cold January or a full house at Anfield in the sunshine for a Merseyside derby -- he is always on it," Henderson added.

"Minimum fuss, but the sort of performance his teammates will appreciate so much. That's such an important example to set for anyone playing for this club.

"After 10 years here, he of course knows what the derby is all about -- and let me tell you, he loves them -- and he used that experience and knowledge right from the first minute to help control the midfield along with Emre [Can] and Gini [Wijnaldum]."