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Liverpool's Martin Skrtel came extremely close to leaving the club last January after falling out of favour with Brendan Rodgers. He rarely featured in the second half of the season, while the arrival of Kolo Toure once again threatened to push him on the sidelines.

The Slovakian defender, though, has been a revelation for Liverpool. He has been a regular first choice centre back for the club even as Rodgers has been changing personnel at the back. He has so far featured in every single match for the club this campaign. Rodgers has stated that the player has not proved him wrong, but he has proved that his judgement was correct.

The former Swansea manager said that Skrtel was too rash when it came to challenging for the balls last season. The big difference is that he has changed his attitude towards that and it has made him the best defender in the league right now. Even though the goals from Luiz Suarez and Daniel Sturridge have been a huge factor in Liverpool's title challenge, the defensive strength provided by Skrtel has also been equally important. Rodgers has now come in praise of the unsung hero, who is one of the favourites to be in the PFA team of the year at the end of the season.

"I look at Martin Skrtel and I see someone who was proved me right. He hasn't proved me wrong - I think he's proved me right. Last year I felt he was rash and made mistakes. Now he's arguably one of the best centre-halves in the Premier League. He's composed, he looks bigger on the pitch and he's been brilliant during this run he's had in the team, so hopefully that will continue," said the Liverpool manager to the club's official magazine after the recent matches.