5 Jul 2015

Transfer Boost: 'Outstanding' £10m 'warrior' to sign 3-year Liverpool deal on Monday

In June, 'Outstanding' Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel blasted Liverpool for making him an 'unacceptable' new contract offer, but it seems that Skrtel and the club have resolved their differences as the Slovakian is reportedly set to sign a new long-term contract.

According to the Liverpool Echo:

"Martin Skrtel will put pen to paper on a new three-year contract at Liverpool.

"The defender has already agreed the deal in principle, with the details set to be finalised on Monday".


Skrtel has been heavily linked with moves to Wolfsburg and Inter Milan this year, and when asked recently about the transfer speculation, his agent, Karel Csontso confirmed:

“The interest from Inter was real. The deal did not go ahead, but there was contact made.

"The player had been thinking about his future and eventually opted to remain at Liverpool."


Like last season, £10m-rated Skrtel - hailed this past season as a 'warrior' by Rodgers - is Liverpool's most consistent defender, which is impressive considering his defensive partners are constantly changing.

Additionally, with Gerrard gone, Skrtel is now the club's most experienced first-team regular, and with the club severely lacking players with consistent top-level experience, it would've been a mistake to let Skrtel leave this summer.

At this stage, Skrtel - when fit - probably remains the first defensive name on the team-sheet, and unless Rodgers signs another central defender this summer, I can't see that changing:



* Sakho is a good defender, with excellent passing range, but like Daniel Sturridge, he is totally unreliable when it comes to fitness. Last season, for example, the Frenchman missed 30 games through injury, and Liverpool cannot build a consistent defensive unit around a perpetual sicknote.

* Lovren had a disappointing debut season at Anfield, and (IMO) he has neither the confidence nor the stature to be the main main at the heart of Liverpool's defence. The Croatian may come good next season, but he needs a rock solid, dependable defender alongside him, and Skrtel fits the bill.

Can Liverpool do better than Skrtel? Absolutely, but after splurging £45m on central defenders since 2013 (including breaking the club's transfer record for a centre-half), it's doubtful that FSG will sanction another £20m+ bid for a defender, which is what it will take for the Reds to sign a truly top-class player in that position.

In any event, throwing money at the problem is arguably not the answer. Whatever their failings at Anfield, Lovren and Sakho are international-class defenders, and Rodgers simply needs to find a way to get the best out of them.

Can he do that, though, without a dedicated defensive coach?

Author: Jaimie K



45 comments:

  1. Tie him down. Consistent performer and a true loyalist.
    Rotate him with Illori next season.
    Selling him would be a mistake. Same applies to Lucas.

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  2. We're done for if we don't hire a defensive coach until pre-season or play with a dedicated DM (Lucas), or high intensity box-to-box trio (Can-Hendo-Milner) playing together. Period.

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  3. Definitely deserves a new contract and I agree that a defensive coach needs to be brought in(would love to see sami or carra) but I think a good holding midfielder (even Lucas when fit) would make a huge difference to the amount of goals we have been conceding. The two central defenders were left with no cover far to often and it doesn't matter who you have in there if there are 3 or 4 attackers running at them..Stevie was too slow to play there and as for Joe allen, a blade of grass would make a better attempt at stopping runners through the middle..

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  4. No and we won't sort out our defensive frailties without a dedicated defensive midfielder either. No sign of that - still seem to be obsessed with the rediculously over-priced Benteke who although a useful striker with the right team is so clearly the wrong player for us. As usual with BR no strategic analysis and expect us to pay the full whack of £30m + add ons for Andy Carroll 2.

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  5. Great news, bit of an animal is our Mr Skrtel; easily our best defender and if he gets in on the act at set pieces again, one of our top goal scorers. Maybe also a good shout for Captain.

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  6. All I am hoping for this season is that our defence improves as we have been really shite over the last three seasons and also due to the fact that we may again fail to find a prolific goal scorer.


    If you are going to want to win the league you need to build from the back or have a combination of a fit Sturridge and magician like Suarez to cancel out a poor defence.


    Having a defensive coach will improve our situation but we all know that may not happen with Brendan in charge who made jokes about a defensive coach not so long ago.

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  7. I'd love to see Sami come back as defensive coach. A player who truly understood the art of defending. Even in his prime he was as slow as a week in the jail but such was his understanding and reading of the game, he was very rarely caught out. If anyone can get our rabble of defenders organised it's Sami Hypia

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  8. Maybe we should have stuck with Steve Clarke in that role?

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  9. Someone's in a good mood today;)

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  10. Totally agree, I always thought it was a mistake letting him go

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  11. He's not a consistent performer, he a total liability. Only time he's been good in recent years was in a back three, as it accentuates his few strengths.

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  12. he is bad in back 4 with a partner, but he is even consistent with that!

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  13. That's a bit harsh.I know he is prone to an odd rush of blood to the head but he's normally pretty solid.

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  14. Jay Jay wisely took a leave...

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  15. We've signed another teenager this time from Arsenal- Elijah Dixon Bonner

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  16. no he is pretty awful in a back 4, he leaves the defenders on each side of him stranded a lot. the back 4 he struggles with his decision making and often over commits or leaves to much space for players to operate allowing players to many 1-2 passes around him or his partners. the back 3 allows him to be a brute and tackle as the last ditch defending, which he is very good at but it shifts that decision making of what space to protect and angles to take to the guys on either side of him and allows him to basically be there strictly as support defender.

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  17. I disagree.ya he makes an odd error but he was very good when playing with carra beside him. Also not having a proper holding midfielder in front of him leaves him to much space to cover. What do you suggest?sell him and replace him with who?

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  18. haha we stole arsenals Bonner

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  19. carra was a positional stud and highly underrated overall, he also controlled the back 4 vocally and truly helped skrtel that way.


    its not an odd error, it was actually my dad that first saw it and i started watching it more closely. its all the time and he often saves grace with a last ditch tackle. so most people overlook it. go watch games with Sakho in his first year and you'll see it. Sakho from my understanding still struggles with English and with no common language between the two it was often laborious victories, as Sakho's command of the english language has improved so has the defensive solidity as whole but leaps and bounds by Skrtel. Skrtel needs direction in a back 4. I never said he needs to be sold, he is good defender but needs direction in a back 4, if Sakho stays fit Skrtel is his best partner hands down. But that is the side Lovern prefers and a rotation with lovern and/or Illori with Skrtel being the main man the best outlook for us defensively. but from what i can see Illori prefers the left like Sakho so there might be overall good rotation there but Illori will look for direction from his partner more than likely at his age and again his best option is Sahko being next to him.


    Skrtel is very loyal and has his place in a defense, commanding a defense is not his strong suit and his lack of command there is actually why I don't rate him as a captain myself.

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  20. I still think lovren could come good as a RCB, just needs as DM in front of him so he can be aggressive like he was at Southampton. I'd love to try Ilori as a DM, has the defensive ability, but also the passing range to be a deep lying playmaker.

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  21. the dm of mid thing i can see your point but often times when the ball is out on the flank he drops to deep and opens a wide gap between him his dm and other cb. players then coming flying in there to receive the ball and more often than not he over commits to compensate leaving a 1-2 pass behind him, srewing his outside defnder or it draws the dm over to far and allows a 1-2 pass around him with the other cb having to either ditch his mark and leave another 1-2 pass if not already shooting and leaving a free runner for a rebound.

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  22. yeah lovren prefers the RCB, interesting thought on Illori, i would be interested to see, dude has tons of speed and good passing.

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  23. Andy Carroll mark 2? You know nothing Mary!!

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  24. Completely agree. Having watched Him in a 3 and a four it is evident that he is a good defender when accompanied by someone who can control the defence.

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  25. Benteke almost certainly isn't Andy Carroll mk.II. But he isn't Ronaldo mk.II either. Prices in this day and age are crazy. Yes, a proven, slightly above average goalscorer like Benteke is going to cost 32M. Yes, it's nuts. He's better than anything the club currently has on it's books though.

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  26. He's a donkey who often has howling lapses in concentration. He's good in the air, good at doing sly dirty fouls, and a moderate defender in most situations.

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  27. Yeah Logan, it appera this is the road Rodgers is taking (thank God), and the aquisition of Firmino with his work rate and Milner seem to suggest that. Do you think the midfield three of Can-Hendo-Milner operating as high pressing box to box midfielders chasing the ball and hounding the opposition could work?

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  28. Well Lovren's downward spiral did begn with Skrtel's constant retreat into his keeper's lap, and it was evident in the second half of the second game of the last season vs Southampton- thats why I think Lovren's case can be remedied with an intelligent partner, enter Sakho and cover-stopper with Lovren

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  29. Yeah what's up with that guy? Would love to hear his take on our defensive set up...

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  30. No maybe you didn't say he needed to be sold but you said he was a total liability which I strongly disagree with. I don't need to go and watch games as I already watch every game and have done for the past 25 years.I know he can have lapses of concentration at times but mostly he's a good defender.also playing with glen Johnson at his side was like playing centre back and right back at the same time.I think he's more than entitled to a new contract.he always gives his best,he's a fighter,he's never injured and also(not saying he's Alan Hansen or anything) he's one of the best defenders we have.also this talk of llori is far too premature.he shows promise but its a big step up to be a central defender in the premiership.

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  31. I still have hope for lovren.maybe with a run of games he can improve and maybe he would be better on the right.as for llori he looks promising but playing that holding role he would have to be very positionally aware and I doubt he would be experienced enough to do that yet.but hopefully he will be a star in the making!

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  32. really? your upvoting yourself?
    he is a liabilty if he doesn't have someone directing him, he struggles in a back 4 without leadership, he consistently commits more errors than all his defensive errors partners. a back 3 he is competent. but it takes rotation and a chance to see if Illori can do and rotating him skrtel makes the most sense in my mind.

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  33. What you are saying is complete rubbish.he commits more errors than lovren? More rubbish. Sakho struggles with the english language.bullsh1t.! You can't just go making this crap up to try and make you comment valid.rotating with llori makes no sense until llori plays a few game of lesser importance and see what he can do.do you think we should just throw this kid in at the deep end and ruin his confidence before he starts?

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  34. What you are saying is complete rubbish! he commits more errors than lovren? More rubbish. Sakho struggles with the english language.bullsh1t.! You can't just go making this crap up to try and make you comment valid.rotating with llori makes no sense until llori plays a few game of lesser importance and see what he can do. do you think we should just throw this kid in at the deep end and ruin his confidence before he starts??

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  35. Lovren had only 1 more defensive error. The next closets was mignolet with 2 less than skrtel. Year before only gerrard and mignolet made more errors. Not making it up. Sakhos struggles were reported as well.

    If you know anything about rotation it means Illori plays early league cup and fa cup games to rest Skrtel.

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  36. So then he doesn't consistantly make more errors than everyone else then?

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  37. tell me if we had a better or more consistent defender than him last season??
    It's a relative comparison if you didn't get that !
    I never said he is world class - at par or better than Terry or Ivanovic.
    So please get your facts straight. If LFC is thinking about shipping our poor defenders then let's start with Lovren, Moreno, Manquillo, Sakho(injury-prone) and then pick him.
    He was clearly more consistent than all the names collectively mentioned above.
    If our defense is poor ,it's down to poor coaching that Bodgers imparts and poor defensive formation that he stubbornly sticks.
    The same set of defenders would turn world beaters under Mou - because they have the potential.
    A manager like Bodgers can make a Maldini or a Nesta look like a headless chicken!

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  38. Skrtel was always error prone- has been during all his tenure here, scores tons of own goals, and during all his time here we always end up shipping 50+ goals. Lovren is mostly scapegoated for his assist to Van Persie in the Manure game last December but Skrtel has just ONE error less leading to goal. And yet he is thought of our best defender (IMAO)! And yes he consistantly makes stupid errors and is prone to serious concentration lapses. We shoud have upgraded on him long time ago.

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  39. Skrtel is consistent and dependable and yet our defence is terrible. That is saying a lot. Maybe he did so well because he is in the team the longest and found a way to cope with this chaotic situation in our backline. He does have plenty of time on his side, a long tenure at Liverpool indeed, and yet he never produced anything spectacular defensive wise. He scores an odd goal but that is usually when he has to repent for his previous error in the same match.
    Sakho and Lovren wil prove their worth in a decent formation and as u said our backline has potential and Rodgers can't coach defence. Period.

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  40. That's not true.we have not conseded 50+ goals during all his time here.that's completely false.he has scored less own goals than carra?is carra also a bad defender?also skrtel has scored a lot of goals for a centre back. And lovren is not scapegoated for his assist to van persie. He played poorly most times he played and made a lot of mistakes,rash tackles,poor positioning and his passing was poor.hopefully he will be better this season but I definitely wouldn't be replacing skrtel with lovren anytime soon!!

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  41. Yes he does when year after year he either has the most or the second most defensive errors out of all his defensive partners and the rest of the team he consistently makes more errors.

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