Lucas Leiva says he is sad to leave Liverpool but is also relishing the opportunity to test himself in Serie A with Lazio.
The Brazil international midfielder was Liverpool’s longest serving player before he departed for Lazio in a £5million deal on Tuesday.
The 30-year-old managed 345 appearances for the Anfield outfit but made just 12 Premier League starts last season.
Lucas says he felt he needed to move on to secure regular football.
“Liverpool is one of the greatest clubs in the world, and my intention had always been to spend the rest of my career here,” he said.
“But the less I have been able to play, the more I have realised that I need to go to another club if I want to play as much as I possibly can.
“The easiest thing for me to do would be to stay here for as long as I can even if I do not expect to play so often, but that would go against everything that I believe in as a footballer and as a competitor.
“My sadness at leaving Liverpool is accompanied by a real excitement that I will be representing one of Italy’s great clubs.”
Liverpool are 12.00 to win the Premier League outright next season while Lazio are 51.00 to secure the Serie A crown.
Lucas arrives in Rome as a direct replacement for Argentine enforcer Lucas Biglia, who has joined AC Milan.