Feb 12, 2014, 10:00 AM EST
Martin Skrtel almost flew the Anfield coop.
After watching his Premier League appearances drop to 23 under Brendan Rodgers in 2012/13, the Slovakian back was ready to leave Liverpool. He had played 38 and 33 times the previous two years and just didn’t feel like he was in Rodgers’ plans.
Both Napoli and Zenit-St Petersburg were interested in the 29-year-old, but Skrtel loved Liverpool, and his pride demanded he fight for his place.
“I would be lying if I said I didn’t think about leaving,” he 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.’
Skrtel scored a brace last weekend in Liverpool’s thumping of Arsenal, giving him four goals on the season. He has already matched his PL appearance total of last season with 23 thusfar, and is also the inspiration for one of my favorite graphics:
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