Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel believes long-term contracts signed by team mate Daniel Agger and he means the Reds' back-line will remain strong for years to come. The 27 year old Slovakian international signed his contract in August this year, while Denmark's Agger put pen to paper on a new deal earlier this month.
"I think it was very good news for Daniel and everybody at Liverpool Football Club. Daniel has shown he is a top player and defender, and it's good for the future that he's signed a new deal. I'm happy about it," Skrtel told the club's official Web site, after confirmation of Agger's signing the contract.
Skrtel joined the Reds from Russian side Zenit St Petersburg in 2008, for £6m. Agger signed for the same amount, two years earlier, from Danish side Brondby. Since then, the two have become one of the most settled central defensive pairings in the Premier League... a fact made evident by the fact the Reds have had to rebuff strong interest and sizeable bids for both players over the years.
The Slovakian's fine form in recent seasons saw interest in his services from Russia's Anzhi Makhachkala and Premier League champions Manchester City, who were also linked with Agger. Reports suggested City, who eventually signed Matija Nastasic from Italian club Fiorentina for £12m, were looking for a cheaper alternative to their first choice target, Brazilian Thiago Silva.
Agger, meanwhile, was reportedly also a target for Catalan giants Barcelona and there were initially worrying days for new Anfield boss Brendan Rodgers, after both Skrtel and Agger voiced tentative desires to leave the club. Worse still, the former Swansea City manager was forced to admit both players could leave the club if a sizeable offer were made.
However, in a case of all's well that ends well, Skrtel and Agger have both signed long-term contracts and appear to keen to continue working together.
"He [Agger] has got everything - he is strong, quick, good in the air, great with the ball and has a great shot. He has everything needed to be a top player, and he has shown that. I really do enjoy playing with him. It's easy to play with him because he's a top player. The understanding between us is good. I hope we can continue it, improve our partnership and be stronger at the back," Skrtel explained to Liverpoolfc.com.
"It means everything to me. This is where I want to be and I'm happy the club want me. I am really happy right now. I've never wanted to go anywhere else. I feel I am a part of this club and I want to be a part of this club in the future. I like the way it is going right now with the style we're playing, and hopefully the results will come soon as well," the 27 year old Agger said, after signing his contract.