Based on recent results, there is an argument that Martin Skrtel’s impact on the Liverpool team is limited, but Brendan Rodgers would be foolish to agree to any offers from Zenit before the closing of the Russian transfer window.
Skrtel hasn’t started four of Liverpool’s last six games and they are unbeaten in these fixtures, which includes draws at Arsenal and Manchester City.
Jamie Carragher has successfully come in alongside Daniel Agger and his organisation has had a positive impact, while he has positioned himself well to ensure that his declining pace has not been too heavily exploited by the likes of Theo Walcott and Sergio Aguero.
It is interesting that Skrtel has been named Slovakian Player of the Year and Agger given the same accolade in Denmark because both have arguably seen their high standards dip this season.
Agger’s performances have arguably been in decline for a longer period and at times against Man City in particular, he looked to be caught out of position and slow to react to play around him.
However, the fact that Agger is far more adept at passing the ball out of defence is a big positive for his inclusion, especially with Rodgers preferring to get the ball into the feet of the strikers quickly at present.
Meanwhile, Skrtel has been prone to a wider number of errors and he and goalkeeper Pepe Reina have certainly come under the spotlight for costing Liverpool some points.
Liverpool’s upcoming fixtures do look on the winnable side and there are certainly grounds to believe that some of these points can be recouped, with a deep dent made into their nine-point gap to the top four.
It is 7/1 that Liverpool break back into the top four this season and they will need Skrtel, albeit in better form, to achieve it.
Carragher has not had any sort of run in the side since the start of last season and so it would be hard to have him play four solid months of football, while Sebastian Coates has not built on the reputation gained at the Copa America.
Therefore, Rodgers would be light in defence if Skrtel was lured back to Zenit, with speculation hinting that an offer of around £13m would be made before the closing of the Russian transfer window at the end of the month.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date