Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has revealed how he has picked out Martin Skrtel for special praise in recent weeks as the central defender continues to excel after a difficult end to last season.
Skrtel was the subject of a lot of speculation over the summer as he reportedly considered a move away from Liverpool in order to increase his game time.
With the side bringing in three defenders over the course of the summer transfer window it seemed as though the Slovakia international would face another season on the sidelines but he looks to have proven himself to Rodgers, appearing in seven of the Reds' opening nine league games.
The 28-year-old has been one of the standout performers at he back, leading Rodgers to speak with the defender and convey how impressed he has been with his displays.
"I thought Skrtel was brilliant against West Brom," Rodgers told the Liverpool Echo. "Anichebe is a real handful, and we spoke before the game about that.
"I've seen him cause a lot of problems for defenders with his strength and power. Martin dealt with him really well.
"I think the three at the back allows him to play to his strengths. It allows him to defend, and it simplifies his game when we have the ball.
"I think in the run of games he has had, he has gained in confidence. I've recognised and acknowledged with him that he is playing at a really good level."
Skrtel was linked with a possible move in the summer but he has since insisted that an exit was never an option and he always wanted to show he was capable of breaking into the Liverpool starting line-up on a regular basis.
And with the Reds currently sitting third in the Premier League table he certainly seems to have justified his decision to remain at Anfield.