Home > Benitez, Liverpool > Martin Skrtel to Anfield?

Martin Skrtel to Anfield?

It looks like beleagured Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez will be the first Premiership manager to welcome a big money signing into the Premiership. Martin Skrtel looks set to join for £6-7 million from Zenit St Petersburg.

Seems strange that this money is suddenly being made available given that a move for Khaladze was seemingly rejected by Liverpool’s Yanky-Doodles as they weren’t happy to splash the cash.

A meeting between Hicks, Gillett and Rick Parry in the USA is expected to focus on the plans for the new stadium which have hit the brakes in recent weeks. Benitez will be hoping his masters rubber-stamp the deal for Skrtel with Liverpool desperate for centre-back cover.

Sami Hyypia is unlikely to leave, although rumours are linking him with Fulham. Skrtel is ineligible in the Champions League, which Liverpool will be prioritising at some stage in the second half of the season unless miracle results let them back into the title race.

Anyone know whether Skrtel is any good? Let us know by leaving a comment. We would also like to hear how Liverpool fans are warming to the American owners? Not very well….? We thought so….

In the meantime, here’s a profile by Yahoo/Eurosport, which seems to think he’s pretty good….
With Liverpool about to finalise the signing of Slovakian Martin Skrtel from Zenit St Petersburg for £6.5 million, we bring you a Euroscout of the centre-half that could become Rafael Benitez’s very own Nemanja Vidic.

Skrtel passes Reds medical
Rafa failed last season with a bid to sign Gabriel Heinze from rivals Manchester United, but is now set to plug the gap left by injured duo Daniel Agger and Sami Hyypia with the most expensive defender in the club’s history.
“The last two weeks I have been in constant contact with my agent Karol Csonto,” he told Plus. “I hope everything will turn out well in the end, the dream will come true, and I will become a player for a famous club. I cannot wait to put pen to paper.
“I have realised that in all likelihood a new era of my life is beginning. I have been pondering what will be waiting for me there and how I will get used to the conditions.”
But is he worth it?
Skrtel, 23, is widely considered the number one stopper in Slovakia. The keystone of the national team’s backline is very strong in the air, possesses good positional sense, has great technique on the ball and most of all is lightning-quick.
He has been praised by many at Zenit for maintaining good form over a long period of time, avoiding costly dips – which resulted in the club winning the Russian title in 2007, their best finish in a domestic season since the USSR league victory in 1984.
Another quality that marks him as a Vidic clone is his penchant for hard tackles, added to a generally whole-hearted style of play, which should see him slot straight into the Premier League’s rough-and-tumble weekly shenanigans.
There is an occasional question mark against his defending from set-pieces, something that Benitez – or his replacement in the summer, if you believe the papers – may look to iron out.
Still, for a young player he certainly looks the part. Zenit coach Dick Advocaat has long tipped the international to grow into one of the top defenders in Europe, just as Serbian Vidic is now considered as indispensable to Manchester United’s back four as the likes of Rio Ferdinand.
Skrtel has played for both Zenit and Slovakia since 2005, earning 15 caps for his country and scoring one goal against Cyprus in their unsuccessful attempt to qualify for Euro 2008.
Liverpool have a genuine goal-threat in Fernando Torres; but if they are to seriously challenge for the Premier League title in the coming years, perhaps an investment in a solid defender such as Skrtel will make the difference.

Categories: Benitez, Liverpool
  1. January 8, 2008 at 5:28 pm

    I am not sure if Liverpool should have made such an aquisition. Skrtel seems to be a good player but I haven’t seen him play. Anyway, as Liverpool have him now, he should be weaved well into their strategy. At the least, they shouldn’t draw or lose matches against teams below position 5!

  2. January 8, 2008 at 10:04 pm

    I think the problem with Liverpool is that they can’t beat teams above them in the last few seasons. Bar a win over an injury-hit Chelsea team last season, Liverpool are really struggling to beat their rivals for the title. As for skrtel, only time will tell….

  3. derrenb
    January 11, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    This lad is top class. He’s got height and loves to head the ball. He could be compared to Sami Hyypia at his best, and looking to the future Skrtel and Agger would be a great blend to play at centre back with their contrasting styles.

    Although he doesn’t have the goals of Vidic, he has all the hallmarks of a top-class aquisition for Liverpool.

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