Lucas Leiva claims he is feeling 50 per cent better physically than he did last season as he sets about a full pre-season for the first time under Brendan Rodgers.

The Brazilian has endured two injury-hit campaigns since winning our Player of the Season award in 2010-11, but after a good spell back in the team last term he is now approaching peak condition.

"I'm feeling 50-60 per cent better than I was last season," Lucas told

"The last six months I played were really important for me. I needed to get games and sessions, and this season now I'm feeling strong and feeling that I'm in the shape I was before the injury.

"Now I've got to improve the fitness and build confidence, but I'm really happy with the way pre-season has started."

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Lucas is one of 27 players currently in Indonesia for the first leg of our summer tour, with new players Iago Aspas, Kolo Toure, Luis Alberto and Simon Mignolet also in the party.

And Lucas has revealed how he takes it upon himself to help any new player settle, in the hope they will find their form quicker.

He explained: "Myself and a few others try to translate and be the link between the staff and players. We try to make sure they feel welcome and happy because if they adapt quicker, they'll find their form quicker.

"We saw how well Coutinho played when he arrived in January because off the pitch he was really comfortable.

"I always try to be this link - because if they perform well it's good for us as a team."

At 26, Lucas is one of the oldest players in what was the youngest Barclays Premier League team last season.

"It's been six years and my seventh season is here already," he added. "How much I've changed since I arrived - the hair and the face! Older, for sure.

"I really appreciate how things changed for me at this club. I want to keep going.

"Being one of the older players in the squad makes you feel like you have extra responsibility. I really like that, and I hope I can be one of the leaders on the pitch this season."