Besiktas are targeting Liverpool’s out of favour centre-back Martin Skrtel for a potential summer swoop, reports Turkish publication Fanatik.
The Slovakian is down Jurgen Klopp’s pecking order currently, and since returning from his hamstring injury has failed to usurp Dejan Lovren, Mamadou Sakho, Kolo Toure and even adopted centre-back Lucas for a start.
Sakho is likely facing a lengthy ban due to a failed drugs test, but with Joel Matip signing in the summer and Joe Gomez returning from the injury which ruled him out of the season, Skrtel may still be surplus to requirements.
The 31-year-old is our second longest serving player having arrived in 2008, but he’s never wholly won over the fanbase.
Time and time again over his eight year tenure Skrtel has displayed naive defensive decision making skills and a lack of communication with the rest of his back-four.
The fact Lovren looks a completely different player when he’s not alongside Skrtel displays this. The latter’s shocking performance against Southampton a few weeks back, which saw him enter the fray and enable Ronald Koeman’s side to win 3-2 from 0-2 down, provides more evidence.
The two best teams in the Premier League this season, Leicester and Spurs, have enjoyed a solid, consistent centre-back pairing (Morgan and Huth, Alderweireld and Vertonghen), and it’s no surprise that many of our own problems have been borne out of changing selections.
Next term, we need to develop a pairing who understand each other. Sakho’s potential ban is debilitating, as he and Lovren were showing signs of serious improvement – but Skrtel has never shown an ability to maximise his partner.
Let’s thank him for his time at Anfield, move him on, and enable Matip and Gomez a chance to step up and take his place.