Liverpool starting XI star admits he thought about summer exit

Martin Skrtel was one of the heroes of his team’s 5-1 thumping of Arsenal, but could have left Anfield before this season.

Brendan Rodgers has bulked up his defensive options in wake of Jamie Carragher’s retirement, and currently has four top central defenders to pick from in his starting XI.

However, despite competition for places, long-standing stalwart Martin Skrtel has been in excellent form this season and played more times than he has been left out.

The Slovakia international scored twice against Arsenal in the 5-1 thumping on Saturday, and has been a key man in the Reds’ quest for Champions League qualification.

However, with opportunities to play thin on the ground at times last season, Skrtel has admitted that he consider leaving Merseyside in the summer.

“I would be lying if I said I didn’t think about leaving,” Skrtel told The Liverpool Echo.

“It wasn’t easy for me after last season. I was on the bench in the second part of the season and that was something new for me.

“But it is not easy to leave a club like Liverpool because they are still one of the best clubs in the world. After six years here it was not easy to say ‘okay, I’m leaving’.

“Before this season started I just said to myself ‘I will fight and work very hard to try to show people I am able to play and start the games’.

“I tried to work very hard in training every day and when I got a chance to play I tried to do my best to help the team.

“After games like Saturday’s I am just so glad and so happy that I stayed."

Skrtel has featured in 23 Premier League games this season, starting them all, and is line to face Fulham at Craven Cottage tonight.

image: © etyek

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