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May, 8, 2013

Enrique backs Skrtel to regain place

Jose Enrique has backed Liverpool team-mate Martin Skrtel to fill the central defensive gap at Anfield that will be left by Jamie Carragher's retirement.

Carragher, who has made 735 senior appearances for the club, will finish a 16-year first-team career when the Premier League season ends on May 19.

Manager Brendan Rodgers, who has been linked with moves for Swansea's Ashley Williams and Ajax centre-back Toby Alderweireld, has acknowledged that the former England international will be tough to replace.

But Spanish left-back Enrique thinks 28-year-old Skrtel, who has been displaced in the starting line-up by Carragher over the second half of this season, can be the long-term replacement.

"Carra is the type of player who wants to play all the time," he told the Liverpool Daily Post. "You cannot say anything about a player who has played more than 700 times.

"And I know it has been a difficult year for Skrtel because he has not been playing as much but last year he was the best centre-back and this year he is the worst.

"But I train with Martin every day and he is a top centre-back. For me Danny Agger and Martin are the best centre-back partnership in the Premier League.

"You can have one year good, one year bad. It happened to me.

"The players who play in the Premier League are there because they have quality and confidence.

"It is all about confidence. Martin is an incredible lad and a top player."

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