In footballing circles at least, much was made of Lucas's transfer to Liverpool, who had reportedly beaten off interest from a host of top European clubs, including Inter Milan.
But after mixed early performances, it seemed the new boy was labouring under the pressure of matching midfield contemporaries Xabi Alonso, Steven Gerrard and Javier Mascherano.
Four years on, Lucas is a different person and LFC a different club.
With Alonso and Mascherano now in Spain, the 24-year-old is an integral part of a first team selected not by Rafael Benitez but by Kenny Dalglish.
Meanwhile, last season fans voted him the Standard Chartered Player of the Year - proof if any was needed of just how far he'd come in the eyes of Kopites.
Gerrard, who played alongside Lucas during the difficult early phase of his Anfield career, is delighted with the improvements the Brazilian has made to his game - and wholeheartedly agrees with the fans' verdict.
"For me, he's consistently been one of our best players this last season and will hopefully take that into next season," the Reds skipper told LFC Weekly.
"I've seen first hand the difficulties he's been through. He's basically rolled up his sleeves, worked hard and improved."
One of the keys to the player's progress has been his increasingly powerful physique.
Such was his determination to build that stronger body that he even installed a work-out room at his home.
"He's got himself stronger in the gym and has never let his head go down, fighting to prove an awful lot of people wrong," Gerrard said.
"He has a strong, positive mentality and he deserves all the credit he gets."