Martin Skrtel could be playing for his Liverpool future over the rest of the season.
Liverpool have a very difficult decision to make at the end of the season and it relates to one of the club’s most experienced defenders. No it’s nothing to do with getting Jamie Carragher out of retirement, it’s whether the club should stick or twist with Martin Skrtel.
Skrtel is undoubtedly a top class defender and someone who could certainly stay at Liverpool, playing well for the remainder of his current contract, which runs out in three years.
However, the big problem Liverpool have with him is that he’s questioned the authority and the integrity of the manager. It’s probably a good job he’s not a Manchester United player because were that the case, Fergie would have already found a buyer for him.
He’s placed pressure on Brendan Rodgers by effectively calling the boss a liar earlier in the season, when Rodgers revealed his reasons for dropping the Slovakian from the first team.
He has since been used in the first team but he’s been undoubtedly replace by Jamie Carragher, which has led to speculation over which defender Liverpool will go after this summer to replace the veteran centre back.
Liverpool could retain him because as defenders go, there are few better in the Premier League when it comes to physical presence and effectiveness in all matches whether it’s with the ball on the floor or dealing with aerial raids on the Liverpool box.
There is also good cause to keep him through his age and the fact that his experience gives him natural leadership qualities, which Liverpool will miss if they can’t convince Carragher to do a u-turn on retirement.
A lot of it is going to come down to how Rodgers sees and handles this situation at the end of the season.
Rodgers is someone who took a lot of flack from Liverpool fans at the start of the season when he was making changes and things weren’t going so well, in terms of how he wanted to develop the side.
Since then things have changed big time because Liverpool have a very exciting and young team, capable of playing some of the best football in England based around their core players.
Skrtel should be one of them but the fact he’s not nailed down his starting place since he was originally dropped from the side probably means the writing is on the wall, especially considering he’s not played back-to-back games for Liverpool since January.
The time seems to be ripe if they want to cash in on him because of the length of his contract with the club, plus the manager can’t have his authority called into question when he’s in the process of trying to build something.
Stick with him or cut him loose?
image: © etyek