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The Slovakian defender feared that he would have to leave Anfield in the summer but has won back his place in style and is delighted to have stayed with Brendan Rodgers's side

Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel says that he nearly called time on his Anfield career at the end of last season but is delighted that he had a change of heart.

The centre-back was not a regular fixture in the starting line-up in Brendan Rodgers's first season at the helm and feared that he may have to leave in search of first-team football.

However, Rodgers hailed the former Zenit St Petersburg man as one of the best defenders in the Premier League after he scored twice in Saturday's 5-1 thrashing of Arsenal and the 29-year-old is relieved that he decided to prolong his stay on Merseyside.

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

"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."

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