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Last Updated: Friday, 11 January 2008, 12:38 GMT
Liverpool confirm Skrtel signing
Martin Skrtel
Martin Skrtel has won 15 caps for Slovakia
Liverpool have confirmed the signing of Slovakian international defender Martin Skrtel from Zenit St Petersburg on a four-and-a-half-year contract.

The established centre-half has 15 caps for his country and Reds boss Rafael Benitez is predicting a bright future for the 23-year-old.

Skrtel becomes the most expensive defender in Liverpool's history with the fee thought to be around 6m.

"He is aggressive, quick and good in the air," said Rafael Benitez.

He is very competitive, but his mentality for me is very good

Rafael Benitez

"I think he's a very good player for the future and also for the present," Benitez added on the Liverpool website.

"I think he is a player maybe not many people know about but he played against Everton for Zenit St Petersburg, and he is a centre-half that knows the English style.

"He is very competitive, but his mentality for me is very good."

The Reds boss also believes Skrtel is a player who will settle quickly into life at Anfield and put pressure on the likes of Jamie Carragher, Sami Hyypia and Daniel Agger for a starting role in the first team.

"He has quality and he can be a problem for them and a good problem for me if I need to decide who to play in the future," added Benitez.

"He has experience and enough quality for playing as soon as possible."



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