Skrtel almost quit Liverpool last summer

Martin Skrtel nearly called time on his Liverpool career at the end of last season but the defender is delighted he had a change of heart.

The centre-back was not a regular fixture in the starting line-up in Brendan Rodgers' first season at the helm and feared his future may lie away from Anfield.

Skrtel instead opted to fight for his place and the Slovakia international is reaping the rewards.

Rodgers hailed the former Zenit St Petersburg man as one of the best defenders in the Premier League after he scored twice in Saturday's 5-1 thrashing of Arsenal.

And the 29-year-old is relieved that he decided to prolong his stay on Merseyside.

"I would be lying if I said I didn’t think about leaving," Skrtel told the Liverpool Echo.

"It wasn't easy for me after last season. I was on the bench in the second part of the season and that was something new for me.

"But it is not easy to leave a club like Liverpool because they are still one of the best clubs in the world. After six years here it was not easy to say 'okay, I’m leaving'.

"Before this season started I just said to myself 'I will fight and work very hard to try to show people I am able to play and start the games'.

"I tried to work very hard in training every day and when I got a chance to play I tried to do my best to help the team.

"After games like Saturday’s I am just so glad and so happy that I stayed.

"Liverpool are a massive club and I just wanted to prove to people I am able to play for this club."