Liverpool centre-back Martin Skrtel says that he thought about leaving Anfield over the summer, but that he’s “so happy” he chose not to.
The Slovakian international has been a key member of the Reds’ backline this season, however he was expected to move on last year after falling down the pecking order during 2012/13 season under Brendan Rodgers.
The 29-year-old was deemed unable to cope with the Northern Irishman’s playing style, and lost his starting berth to veteran defender Jamie Carragher – who retired ahead of the current campaign.
There were no shortage of potential takers for the Eastern European ace, with Napoli and Zenit Saint-Petersburg believed to have been particularly keen.
However Skrtel elected to stay, and has since been praised by Rodgers for his work rate and determination.
The tough-tackling centre-back revealed to the Liverpool Echo that he thought about an exit, but that he feels he made the right decision to stay put.
“I would be lying if I said I didn’t think about leaving,” Skrtel said.
“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.
“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’.
“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.
“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.”