Liverpool Transfer News: Reds Must Convince Underrated Martin Skrtel to Stay

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMay 18, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 14:  Martin Skrtel of Liverpool holds off Tim Cahill of Everton during the FA Cup with Budweiser Semi Final match between Liverpool and Everton at Wembley Stadium on April 14, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Ever since Kenny Dalglish was removed from his post as manager earlier in the week, there has been a run of Liverpool players reconsidering their futures. One star the Reds can't let get away is defender Martin Skrtel, who had a terrific season despite the team's lackluster results.

According to the Daily MirrorSkrtel has requested a meeting with team officials to get a better understanding of the club's direction and his place in the future. His agent said getting a new deal done with the club would also be part of the talks.

"We want to discuss with Liverpool what they want and, of course, we will discuss the issue of Martin's new contract.

"You cannot say Liverpool won't play in the Champions League. It is a big club and because they haven't made it this year doesn't mean they would not next."

"There are expectations on both sides, though."

It's no surprise the 27-year-old Slovakian would be hoping to capitalize on a great season. He was named the team's player of the year and should have plenty of prime years left. That makes him a valuable commodity Liverpool can't afford to lose.

The Reds had to know they would have to do some damage control after finishing the Premier League season in eighth place, 13 points behind a European spot. Letting go of Dalglish was a move that should help convince players they are still aiming for greatness.

That's key because when players go to Liverpool, they expect a chance to play in major tournaments and compete for the league title. Even though they ended their trophy drought in the Carling Cup, more success is necessary in order to keep attracting top talent.

Since finding upgrades on the transfer market won't be easy after a rough campaign, it's more important than ever that the Reds don't lose their stars and risk falling even further behind the dominant Manchester clubs and the other contenders.

Skrtel should be atop the list of players they need to keep. His steady presence took a lot of pressure off his fellow defenders, allowing the team to finish in a tie for third place in goals against. Without him, that's not possible.

Liverpool's down season meant he didn't get the recognition he deserved, but the Reds' executives who watched him on a weekly basis understand how important he has become to the team's success.

Knowing that, the Reds have to do everything they can to show Skrtel they will be competitive next season to make sure he stays in a Liverpool uniform for a long time.