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Lucas finally leaves Liverpool after 10 years

Lucas Leiva officially left Liverpool this week as he called time on his ten-year stint at Anfield.

After an indifferent start, the Brazilian midfielder established himself as a fan – and teammate – favourite in Merseyside.

Reds stars – new and old – all looked on with misty eyes and paid tribute as Lucas set off for his new life in Italy with Lazio.

Lucas was far and away Liverpool‘s longest-serving player as fellow veterans such as Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher and Dirk Kuyt has all left in recent seasons.

The 24-cap international isn’t the only loyal star to leave his club this summer either, as Wayne Rooney spectacularly returned to Everton from Manchester United after 13 years at Old Trafford.

John Terry also swapped Chelsea for Aston Villa in a bonkers summer… so who is your Premier League club’s longest-serving player after all the transfer market action?

HE’S perhaps never quite fulfilled the potential expected when he burst onto the scene with Southampton back in 2005-06.

However, after joining Arsene Wenger’s Gunners in the January of 2006, Walcott is now the North London club’s longest-serving player.

Set to kick-off his 12th season at Arsenal, the 47-cap England international has turned out 260 times in the Premier League, scoring an impressive 65 times.

While his ideal position is still not fully known by Wenger and he’s yet to cement himself as a first-team regular, Walcott should continue to play an important role at the Emirates.

Kieran Gibbs (2007) and Aaron Ramsey (2008) complete the top three longest-serving stars.

CHELSEA – Gary Cahill

As bizarre as it seems to look at this list and not see John Terry’s name, the longest-serving title at Chelsea now goes to Cahill.

After four years at Aston Villa and another four at Bolton, Cahill joined the Blues midway through the 2011-12 season, going on to make 162 Premier League appearances.

Cahill has also won two Prem titles in his time at Stamford Bridge as well as making 55 international appearances for England. He edges out Eden Hazard and Cesar Azpilicueta (both 2012) in the list.

CRYSTAL PALACE – Julian Speroni.

It’s been so long now, many forget Speroni once turned out in Scotland for Dundee.

In fact, the Argentine stopper joined the Selhurst Park outfit all the way back in 2004… and never left.

The club icon now has 359 league appearances for the Eagles under his belt, in both the Premier League and the Championship – and at 38-years-old, is showing no signs of leaving any time soon.

EVERTON – Phil Jagielka

England centre-back Jagielka was once a long-serving Sheffield United star, having spent seven years at Bramall Lane.

However, he’s gone on to spend even longer at Goodison Park, having been at Everton for a decade. Jagielka turned out 254 times in the league for the Blades, but has eclipsed that for the Toffees, playing 290 times in the top flight.

The English defender narrowly edges out Leighton Baines (2007) for the longest-serving player tag – as well as Seamus Coleman (2009).

LEICESTER – Andy King

The Foxes famously enjoyed great success in the 2015-16 season, with stars such as Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy taking the plaudits.

However, without long-serving stars such as Andy King, Kasper Schmeichel and Danny Drinkwater, the Premier League success may never have been.

It’s King who is Leicester’s most loyal player having made his first-team debut back in 2006 – two years after joining the club’s youth ranks from Chelsea.

LIVERPOOL – Jon Flanagan

With Lucas now gone, someone has to take over the mantle of Liverpool’s longest-server.

That honour goes to young full-back Flanagan, who made his first-team debut back in 2010. Flanagan enjoyed a breakout season in the “nearly” season of 2013-14 as his tough-tackling style helped the Reds challenge for the Premier League title.

He spent 2016-17 out on loan at Burnley but will hope to add to his 40 Premier League appearances for the Reds next term.

Flanagan beats Jordan Henderson (2011) and Mamdou Sakho (2013) to be Liverpool’s most loyal player.

MAN CITY – Joe Hart

He’s left the Etihad this summer, but for now Hart is City’s longest-serving star.

The England No1 spent 2016-17 on loan at Serie A side Torino and has now joined West Ham – initially on a temporary deal.

But having arrived in Manchester long before the “new money” City, back in 2006, Hart is easily the club’s longest-server.

Hart has made 266 Premier League appearances and even won a pair of top flight crowns, in beating Vincent Kompany (2008) and David Silva (2010) to the most loyal honour.

MAN UNITED – Michael Carrick

He’s left the Etihad this summer, but for now Hart is City’s longest-serving star.

The England No1 spent 2016-17 on loan at Serie A side Torino and has now joined West Ham – initially on a temporary deal.

But having arrived in Manchester long before the “new money” City, back in 2006, Hart is easily the club’s longest-server.

Hart has made 266 Premier League appearances and even won a pair of top flight crowns, in beating Vincent Kompany (2008) and David Silva (2010) to the most loyal honour.

NEWCASTLE – Tim Krul

Having spent over a decade at St James’ Park, Krul is far and away Newcastle’s longest-serving player.

The Dutch stopper joined the Toon back in 2006 before establishing himself as a first-team regular in 2010.

Krul has endured a tough couple of years as he recovered from a serious knee injury, spending time on loan at Ajax, Ajax II and AZ in Holland.

However, with 160 league appearances for Newcastle under his belt, Krul beats fellow keeper Rob Elliot (2011) and Paul Dummett (2013) as the club’s veteran presence.

SOUTHAMPTON – James Ward-Prowse

He may only be 22-years-old, but Ward-Prowse incredibly is Southampton’s longest-serving star.

The one-cap England midfielder has been at the club since 2003, making his first-team debut in 2011.

Since that days, the classy midfielder has racked up 137 Premier League appearances.

Ward-Prowse beats Steven Davis and Maya Yoshida (both 2012) to the honour.

STOKE – Ryan Shawcross

After his early days as a Manchester United youngster, Shawcross has made a name for himself at Stoke.

The one-cap England defender has been at the bet365 Stadium since 2008, making 305 Premier League appearances in the process.

Shawcross beats Glenn Whelan (2008) and Peter Crouch (2011) to be crowned the Potters’ longest-server.

SWANSEA – Angel Rangel

At 34-years-old, Rangel is now into his twilight years at Swansea.

But he has spent an incredibly decade in Wales, leading the club from League One to Premier League regulars.

The Spanish full-back has amassed 321 league appearances for the Liberty Stadium side and still made 15 Premier League appearances last season.

Rangel edges Nathan Dyer (2009) and Leon Britton (2011) to the honour.

TOTTENHAM – Danny Rose

While only 27-years-old, Rose has remarkably been in and around the Spurs first-team for a decade.

The England left-back made his senior debut all the way back in 2007 and is now a regular for both club and country.

To go with loan spells at Watford, Peterborough, Bristol City and Sunderland, the former Leeds defender has also represented Great Britain at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Rose has racked up 108 Premier League appearances in beating Harry Kane (2009) and Jan Vertonghen (2012) to the veteran title.

WATFORD – Troy Deeney

After kicking-off his senior career at Walsall, Deeney has enjoyed huge success at Watford.

The English striker joined the Premier League side back in 2010, going on to make 280 league appearances, scoring exactly 100 times.

Deeney trumps Tommie Hoban (2011) and Heurelho Gomes (2014) to top the pile.

WEST BROM – James Morrison

After three years at Middlesbrough, Morrison found his home at West Brom.

The 43-cap Scotland international has been at the Hawthorns since 2007, racking up close to 300 league appearances in the process.

Morrison topples Chris Brunt (also 2007) and Boaz Myhill (2010) in the list.

WEST HAM – Mark Noble

It could only be one man… step forward Mr Noble.

The West Ham star has been at the club since 2004 as he has been an ever-present in the Hammers XI ever since his debut.

Noble has made 347 league appearances for West Ham, scoring 41 times in the process.

He easily surpasses Winston Reid (2010) and James Collins (2012) to the honour.

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