On the 14th July 2016, Liverpool announced that defender Martin Skrtel had moved to Turkish side Fenerbahce for a reported fee of £5 million.
The Slovenian international was one of Liverpool’s longest-serving players of the Premier League era, playing for the Reds for eight years and making 320 appearances in all competitions for the Merseyside club.
Signed by Rafa Benitez in the winter of 2008 for a reported fee of £6.5 million after beating out the likes of Valencia, Tottenham Hotspur, Everton for his signature, Skrtel quickly established himself as a first-team defender, making 20 appearances in his first five months at the club.
After the appointment of Jurgen Klopp in the 2015/16 season, Skrtel, who had largely been a first-team player for the past seven seasons, found himself out of the squad regularly under the German, leading to the then 31-year-old defender leaving Anfield for Turkey.
In eight years in England, Skrtel only managed one trophy for the Reds, the 2011/12 League Cup, scoring in the final against Cardiff City as Liverpool went on to win the game on penalties against the Bluebirds.
Skrtel was also named Liverpool Player of the Year in 2012 in a year where the defender started two cup finals, the aforementioned League Cup final and the FA Cup final against Chelsea where the Reds fell to a 2-1 defeat to Chelsea.
Here is how Liverpool fans reacted to the news…
Nobody can deny your commitment and passion for Liverpool. You’ll always have my respect. YNWA Martin.
— Levi (@TheAlonsoRole) July 14, 2016
every beautiful thing has to come to an end
— Ghina (@KingMomo_11) July 14, 2016
Good luck, Martin. Thanks for the memories.
— Brad (@_bradlfc) July 14, 2016
GOOD LUCK LOYAL SERVANT
— Ꭰaniil (@Dan44_Z) July 14, 2016
an end of great decade! None top quality and top loyality defenders are left in Liverpool no Agger, Hyppia, Carragher and now Skrtel.
— We Miss You Agger (@WeMissYouAgger) July 16, 2016
He has been a rock in our defense for so many years, so he deserves a better goodbye. YNWA and best of luck in the future, Martin
— Valo Snah (@ChefS99) July 14, 2016
appreciate his time in Liverpool. He just did not fit with Klopp’s style. Hope Skrtel has great future at Fenerbahce. YNWA
— Nimus (@suminjo94) July 14, 2016
Thanks for the 8 years Skrtel! Good luck!!
— Gerard.J.Lim (@ImmaRiddle) July 14, 2016
Since his move to Turkey, Skrtel has found his form again for the Istanbul giants, playing 31 games in his first full season with the club and quickly being rumoured with a move back to England, with Stoke City, Swansea and Newcastle United all reportedly interested in bringing the intimidating defender back to the country where he made his name.
Now 34 and retired from the Slovenia national team, Skrtel is in the twilight years and still going strong with Fenerbahce, making 26 appearances in all competitions for the Turkish side this season.
Liverpool fans, what is your favourite memory about Skrtel? Let us know!
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