20 August 2012 18:08
Martin Skrtel has committed his future to Liverpool by signing a new long-term deal with the club.
The 28-year-old, who was voted as the Reds’ player of the year last season, has been recently linked with a move away from Anfield – with Manchester City, Arsenal, AC Milan and former club Zenit St Petersburg among the sides reportedly interested in the defender.
However, the Slovakia international quashed those rumours by putting pen to paper on a new contract with the Merseyside outfit, declaring that he wants to make history with ‘one of the biggest clubs in the world’.
“I’m happy because I am a part of one of the biggest clubs in the world,” he told the club’s official website.
“After last season there was a lot of talk about my future but I have to say that the first priority for me was always to sign a new deal with Liverpool.
“For me it’s a great thing to play for Liverpool. I am proud to play for Liverpool with these great players – probably some of the best players in the world.
“I hope I can create history at this club and that the fans will always remember me – that’s my target for the future.”
Skrtel, who signed for Liverpool from Zenit in 2008, explained that staying with the club makes sense on and off the pitch, indicating that under new manager Brendan Rodgers they are looking to challenge for a top-four finish after a dismal campaign last term.
“I have been here almost four and a half years and I have enjoyed that time here – myself and also my family,” said the centre-back. “So there were no questions about whether to stay or to leave.
“A lot of things have changed, a new manager has come. I think we can start to make history and I want to be a part of that history.
“We have our target. For this season it is the top four and I hope we can do it. Then we will see.
“I think Brendan Rodgers showed his quality with Swansea and now he’s carrying on doing that at Liverpool. He’s showed he’s a great manager and I hope we can play better football than we did in the last seasons and I hope we can get our target. You can always play better.
“I can say the last two seasons were really good for me – probably the best two seasons of my career. If I can repeat the performances of the last two years this season I can be happy.”
Rodgers will be hoping that Skrtel hits top form sooner rather than later, with Liverpool having suffered a 3-0 defeat at the hands of West Brom in their first league game of the season on Saturday.