Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel admits it will be tough for the club to cope following the exit of captain Steven Gerrard in the summer.
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The former England midfielder is set to end his 17-year association with the Merseyside outfit when he heads for America to join MLS side LA Galaxy when his contract expires in June.
And Skrtel, who has played alongside the Kop legend for seven years, says he has found it difficult to come to terms with his teammates imminent departure:
“When I found out he was leaving it was bad news for me.” he told Goal.com.
“Obviously he was here for such a long time and when you say Liverpool it’s always Steven Gerrard. It will be different next season and Liverpool will never be the same.”
The pair are set to return for the Reds in their FA Cup semi-final against Aston Villa on Sunday afternoon as Gerrard aims to stay on track to bow out of English football with an appearance in the final which falls on his 35th birthday next month.
Both have missed the last three league games through suspension in the aftermath of the 2-1 defeat against Manchester United last month and their availability will be a major boost to manager Brendan Rodgers.
In particular Skrtel who looks set to strengthen the defence that will be missing Mamadou Sakho for the game at Wembley.