Martin Skrtel
Martin Skrtel [Reuters]

Martin Skrtel has revealed thoughts about leaving Liverpool last summer had crossed his mind after being relegated to the bench during the second-half of the previous campaign, which saw him make only four Premier League starts.

However, the Slovakian international opted to stay and fight for his place in the starting XI and expressed his joy for not heading for the exit door of the Merseyside club.

The 29-year-old hit the double from two set pieces within the first 10 minutes during their league clash against Arsenal last Saturday to help the Reds register a convincing 5-1 victory at Anfield.

"I would be lying if I said I didn't think about leaving. 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," Skrtel told the Liverpool ECHO.

"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'," he added.

Skrtel's future at his current employers was in further doubt as Liverpool signed Mamadou Sakho from Paris Saint-Germain and Kolo Toure during the transfer window last summer.

But the Slovakian international was keen on proving his worth to Brendan Rodgers and win the manager's faith with hope that the Northern Irishman will reconsider his choices at the heart of defence. This season the tough tackling centre-back has started in 23 matches out of 25 Liverpool have played in the league this season.

"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'. I tried to work very hard in training every day and when I got a chance to play I tried to do my best to help the team," Skrtel explained.

"After games like Saturday's I am just so glad and so happy that I stayed. Liverpool are a massive club and I just wanted to prove to people I am able to play for this club," he concluded.

Liverpool are fourth in the league table having 50 points from 25 games and will travel to Craven Cottage to take on Fulham for the midweek league fixture on Wednesday.