Brendan Rodgers proclaimed at the end of the 2013/14 season, after Liverpool's gut-wrenching, title-costing defeat to Chelsea that it is “not difficult to coach to play defensive". Sadly for Rodgers, a year later Liverpool conceded six goals against Stoke City.
Rodgers received some good news on the defensive front today, however, as Liverpool announced a double reinforcement of that defence.
Martin Skrtel has rejected the opportunity to join Inter Milan and signed a new contract with the club. Skrtel had enterted the final year of his deal at Anfield, but is now expected to sign a new deal tying him to the club for the long-term. Skrtel is Liverpool's longest-serving player, following Steven Gerrard's departure, and his decision to sign a new contract is welcome relief for Rodgers.
Martin Skrtel: Of Premier League defenders, only Seamus Coleman (9) has scored more goals in the last 2 seasons than Skrtel (8) #LFC
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) June 18, 2015
Liverpool also look set to complete the signing of 18 year old centre-back Joe Gomez from Charlton Athletic, for an estimated five million euro. Whether the U19 England international joins Liverpool's first-team squad immediately is unclear, he may join the swelling ranks of centre-backs signed and barely played by Liverpool. See also: Gabriel Paletta, Sebastian Coates, Tiago Illori.