Could former Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel be returning to England this summer? According to the Daily Mail, Swansea City have enquired about his availability, but will the move take place?
The 32-year-old spent nine seasons at Liverpool, accumulating 319 appearances and scoring 18 goals. Skrtel called an end to his time at Anfield at the end of the 2015/16 season, moving onto Turkish giants Fenerbahce.
He enjoyed an impressive season in Turkey and featured 43 times last season, scoring three goals. Swansea City have reportedly enquired about the availability of the Slovakian defender but Fenerbahce have firmly told them he is strictly unavailable.
Skrtel has been voted Slovak Player of the Year on four occasions and was also awarded Liverpool’s Player of the Year in 2012. He won the League Cup during the 2011/12 season during his nine-year spell with the reds.
Swansea City struggled defensively last term since the departure of former captain Ashley Williams. It was a huge blow for the swans, who narrowly avoided relegation under the guidance of Paul Clement.
Yes, age is declining factor for signing Martin Skrtel but he’s proven that he can play at the highest level. He enjoyed a very strong season in Turkey and a return to England could still be on the cards for the Slovakian international.
Do Swansea City need Martin Skrtel?
In my opinion, Martin Skrtel would be a massive and key signing for Swansea City this summer. They’ve suffered defensively since Ashley Williams left the club for Everton last summer and they require an experienced and established central defender.
Martin Skrtel would fit the bill perfectly and he would also contribute to the development of 23-year-old defender Alfie Mawson. The England under-21 international enjoyed a successful debut season at the Liberty Stadium last season.
He joined Swansea City from Barnsley at the beginning of the 2016/17 season, after winning promotion to the Championship. Barnsley have a good track record in producing players in recent years, following the emergence of John Stones and Jason Holgate.
The Welsh outfit signed Mike Van Der Hoorn from Ajax to replace Ashley Williams for an undisclosed fee. The Dutchman, formerly of Ajax, struggled to adapt to the Premier League and made only 8 appearances in his debut season.
Argentine international Federico Fernandez and Jordi Amat also lack the qualities to adequately replace Ashley Williams. Fernandez lacks the leadership skills to educate the likes of Alfie Mawson, whereas Skrtel would be the perfect fit.
Chico Flores and Ashley Williams shared a formidable defensive partnership in the early stages of Swansea City’s Premier League era. I can see similar success coming from the potential pairing of Martin Skrtel and Alfie Mawson.
Will Skrtel return to England?
Rumours of Skrtel’s departure filtered in the press towards the end of the 2016/17 season. He was impressive during his first season in Turkey and Fenerbahce remain insistent that his future remains at the club.
Skrtel could also reportedly be reunited with former Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez at Newcastle United. Stoke City were also included in a list of clubs interested on luring him back to England but Swansea emerged the strongest candidate.
However, Fenerbahce manager Karol Csonto told press that “even if it was Chelsea, Skrtel will certainly not return to England”. The rumours have since quietened in the past week, which could suggest that Skrtel could remain in Turkey.
Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham has also been linked with a possible season-long loan at the Liberty Stadium. The England under-21 international scored 26 goals in 48 appearances during his loan spell at Championship club Bristol City last season.
Las Palmas playmaker Roque Mesa is also set to hold talks with the club next week, regarding a possible move to Swansea City. This is likely to fuel rumours of the possible departure of star player Gylfi Sigurdsson to Everton.