Martin Skrtel can replace Jamie Carragher says Jose Enrique

The vice-captain is retiring at the end of the season

Defender Jose Enrique knows Jamie Carragher's achievements at Liverpool will stand the test of time but hopes the void he leaves will be filled by a rejuvenated Martin Skrtel.

The veteran centre-back has just two matches remaining of his 16-year professional career before he bows out, fittingly at Anfield, against QPR on May 19.

Liverpool are planning a tribute to the long-serving 35-year-old, who has racked up 735 appearances, at that match.

Details are expected to be revealed later this week but it is likely one way of recognising the service to his only professional club will be with a mosaic on the Kop, as they did for Sami Hyypia's final match in 2009.

Carragher's departure has led to plenty of speculation about who will be brought in as a replacement, with Swansea's Ashley Williams and Ajax's Toby Alderweireld strongly linked, but Enrique insists the answer lies within - providing Skrtel can be persuaded to stay.

"Carra is the type of player who wants to play all the time," Enrique told Press Association Sport.

"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."

One player not short of confidence at the moment is midfielder Philippe Coutinho, who has picked up his second succesive player of the month award since arriving in January.

The 20-year-old had his best game for the club in the 6-0 demolition of Newcastle just over a week ago but the Brazilian insists there is a lot more to come from him.

"Taking into account the voting is done by the supporters, that gives me more confidence on the pitch," he told liverpoolfc.com.

"I have to thank my team-mates and the supporters for their support and I hope to contribute with my performances.

"I have been working very hard to be able to adapt very quickly and I think everything is working out very well.

"I thank God and my team-mates for making me feel so welcome and for helping me a lot on the pitch.

"I have to improve a lot and learn much more in our training sessions.

"I like to play football, I like to enjoy myself while playing. I play in any position, I have no preference but it all depends on the manager.

"My duty is to do what he asks from me."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor