Reputed Italian journalist Emanuele Giulianelli has claimed that Serie A outfit Roma have reached an agreement with Liverpool for the signature of veteran defender Martin Skrtel.

 

After spending nine successful seasons at Anfield, defender Martin Skrtel is set to bid farewell to the club. Sky Sports stated earlier that he was on his way to Turkey to sign for Fenerbahce, but according to Italian journalist Emanuele Giulianelli, Italian side Roma are in the driver’s seat to lure him away from Liverpool. Italian media outlet Calciomercato also claimed that Serie A side Inter Milan were in the running for the Liverpool player, but have reportedly been beaten to his signature by rivals Roma.

Skrtel made 21 appearances for Liverpool in the 2015/16 Premier League campaign, averaging a staggering 6.7 clearances per game (via WhoScored). In addition to that, he averaged close to 2 interceptions every ninety minutes of football played, maintaining a solid pass accuracy of 85.3 %. His undeniable aerial prowess makes him an important player in offensive and defensive set-pieces.

Will Skrtel fit in at Roma?

Russia's midfielder Oleg Shatov (R) reacts after a tackle by Slovakia's defender Martin Skrtel (L) during the Euro 2016 group B football match between Russia and Slovakia at the Pierre-Mauroy Stadium in Villeneuve-d'Ascq, near Lille, on June 15, 2016. / AFP / PHILIPPE HUGUEN (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)

PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images

In Antonio Rudiger and Kostas Manolas, Roma already have two quality centre-backs, which would see Skrtel being used as a back-up. At 31, the defender’s best days are behind him and if he is to prove that he deserves a role in the starting lineup, he would have to compete against younger and more agile defenders.

The slow and tactical nature of the Italian game may work to Skrtel’s strength. In the last few seasons at Liverpool, the player showed a steady decline in not only the number of games played, but also the quality displayed on the pitch. He was often bullied by stronger and quicker strikers, and was often caught ball watching. In the Serie A, he’d be offered more time on the ball and will have the opportunity to work within a more organised defensive framework.

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