Is There Space for Martin Skrtel at Liverpool?

Vince Caligiuri

Liverpool's deadline day additions of Mamadou Sakho and Tiago Ilori might mean Skrtel's start against Manchester United may be his last in a red shirt.

Martin Skrtel was one of the best performers on the pitch as Liverpool emerged victorious from a close battle against Manchester United. Skrtel renewed a partnership with Daniel Agger that was set to be the defensive base of the Brendan Rodgers era. However, the first half of last season brought much misery for the Slovakian international and the recently retired Jamie Carragher replaced Skrtel from January until the end of the season. The big Slovak made 25 appearances in the league but since Liverpool lost away to Manchester United on 13 January 2013, Skrtel just featured four times in the league and once in the away defeat Zenit Saint Petersberg.

Zenit is one of the clubs who could pick up Skrtel and the Liverpool defender has been often linked with a return to his former club. Rafa Benitez's arrival at Napoli this summer resulted in a multitude of press clippings outlining how and why Skrtel would be on his way to Liverpool. Once Reina joined Benitez in Italy, many thought that there indeed could be something behind rumours of a possible deal for Skrtel.

The early performances of Kolo Toure and the money spent on Mamadou Sakho probably mean that it will be those two who will most likely partner Daniel Agger with Tiago Ilori waiting for his chance. Do the arrivals of two new defenders mean that Martin Skrtel is surplus to requirements at Anfield?

Skrtel showed what he can do in a deeper defensive line in Liverpool's last match but with the money spent of Sakho in particular, there could be an outgoing deal to be done for a capable defender in the right system who should be a regular starter at a good European club. The experienced Paolo Cannavaro hasn't yet seen any minutes so far this season but his agent has denied rumours of a move to AC Milan. The Uruguayan Miguel Britos has done well partnering Albiol in defence in Napoli's first two league matches but Benitez might want to improve on Federico Fernandez  and Cannavaro as competition for what could be a demanding campaign. Zenit have the money and may still make a move for a popular former player.

We'll have more news as it comes in but this could be a major outgoing deal for Liverpool on deadline day.

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