'I'm pretty sure': Martin Skrtel now makes claim about why Sadio Mane left Liverpool last month
Photo by S. Mellar/FC Bayern via Getty Images

'I'm pretty sure': Martin Skrtel now makes claim about why Sadio Mane left Liverpool last month

Martin Skrtel thinks Sadio Mane left Liverpool simply because he felt the need for a new challenge.

Speaking to The Athletic, the former Liverpool defender claimed that Mane is a ‘legend’ at the club, but made the right choice for himself.

“It is difficult to leave a club like Liverpool because if you are there, if you’re doing well like he was doing, and we can call him legend because of what he achieved in the club, it’s brilliant,” said the now-retired centre-back. “But I think each player, at a certain stage of his career, has a feeling that you need to change. You need some maybe new motivation, a new challenge.”

Skrtel, who made 320 appearances for Liverpool between 2008 and 2016, said he felt a similar need to move on after such a long time.

Photo by S. Mellar/FC Bayern via Getty Images

“After eight and a half years (with Liverpool), I also had that feeling like, ‘Oh, maybe I should change something’ to find a different kind of experience,” said the 37-year-old.

“I’m pretty sure it wasn’t an easy decision for him to leave the club. But he gave his maximum and did really well for the club, and now all you can do is wish him luck. If they (Bayern Munich) play in the future against Liverpool, I hope he won’t be at his best!”

Time to show Skrtel some respect

When discussing modern-day greats for Liverpool, Sadio Mane would be in every one of those conversations.

Despite having played significantly more games for Liverpool, Skrtel surely wouldn’t be. That’s a shame for the centre-back, who sometimes gets an unfairly bad rap.

Photo by John Cocks/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Of course he had his disappointing moments, and he wasn’t Virgil Van Dijk by any means. But he was an excellent servant who at times was absolutely brilliant.

It doesn’t help Skrtel’s cause that Liverpool only won a single trophy during his near-decade stay. As a result, to some, he represents a slide into mediocrity for Liverpool during the late 2000s and early 2010s.

But that’s feels dismissive of his contributions to the club. In that one trophy success – the League Cup in 2012 – he scored a vital equaliser against Cardiff City in the final.

The same season, he was also named as the club’s Player of the Year.

Photo by Popperfoto via Getty Images/Getty Images

In the memorable 2013/14 campaign, he scored seven Premier League goals as Liverpool went so close to winning the title.

Had Liverpool got over the line that season, his legacy would surely be different. Instead, Skrtel left in 2016 having somewhat fallen out with new boss Jurgen Klopp.

The 37-year-old will never be held in anything like the regard of someone like Mane. But he clearly still loves the club. It’s time to put a bit more respect on Martin Skrtel’s name.

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