Martin Skrtel joins Fenerbahce
Martin Skrtel has left Liverpool after over eight years and 319 appearances. The 31-year-old Slovakia captain has joined Turkish club Fenerbahce. He was an integral member of Liverpool’s defence. However, in recent years he has fallen down the pecking order at Anfield. The arrival of Joël Matip from Schalke would have seen his chances of playing become even smaller.
The fee agreed between the clubs is believed to be around £5.5 million. This fee means that Liverpool have made most of the £6.5 million paid originally in 2008 when they signed him from Zenit St Petersburg. The length of the contract has not been confirmed by the Turkish club.
Skrtel’s strength and aerial ability, as well as his eye for goal, made him a fan favourite. However, in recent years his form has declined and he has become more erratic and clumsy. Despite this he will be remembered for the good times by the Anfield faithful. He was named Liverpool’s player of the season for the 2011/12 season.
Skrtel scored eighteen goals for Liverpool including memorable goals against Manchester City in 2014 and one in the League Cup final in 2011. His goal was the equaliser against Cardiff as Liverpool won the League Cup on penalties.
In recent seasons the 31-year-old has started to look more erratic and error-prone. He has found that first-team chances have been reduced. Despite this the Slovakia captain played every minute of his country’s Euro 2016 campaign; including a clean sheet against England.
Skrtel was recently embroiled in controversy recently when it appeared that he insulted his manager Jürgen Klopp on Instagram. He refuted this and claimed it was a friend who had made the comments. However, his poor relationship with the German was probably another factor for his departure.
Liverpool, have released a statement thanking the defender for his service. In this they said “for his committed service to the club and wishes him the best of luck at his new team and in his future career.”
Skrtel will be joining up with one of his former rivals in Robin Van Persie at the Istanbul club. The former Premier League players will try to help Fenerbahce to their first Super Lig title in five years.