Only a day after news broke that long-time defender Jamie Carragher would retire at season’s end, Liverpool has come to terms with fellow defender Martin Kelly on a long-term contract extension. The deal was announced by the club on Friday.
With Carragher out of the picture moving forward, the Reds needed to lock down Kelly, who is definitely capable of filling the position that the 35-year-old veteran will vacate once the 2012-2013 English Premier League season comes to a close.
The team announced the move via their official website, including a statement from Kelly regarding his new deal with Liverpool:
“I’m delighted to have signed. It means everything to me and my family. I’ve been at Liverpool since I was seven, so it’s in my heart and I love the club.”
“When you play in the Liverpool shirt, you have to show the fans what it means. I just love playing and trying my hardest for the supporters and for my family.”
“Being a Liverpool supporter myself, it’s brilliant to put the shirt on and I’m doing what I loved doing since I was a kid. I’m over the moon.”
“Today shows the faith that the club have in me and that the hard work I have put in since I was young has paid off. Hopefully I’ll put the injuries behind me. We have excellent medical staff here, who are going to work me and keep me on top of my injury. I’ll be coming back even stronger.”
Since making his first-team debut for the Reds back in 2009, Kelly has made 54 appearances in the Liverpool uniform. Although he is currently recovering from a cruciate ligament injury in his knee, the energetic defender should be ready to bounce back by next season with a new contract in hand. Especially with the retirement of Carragher just around the corner, Liverpool is going to need everything they can get from the potential-laden defender.
Managing director Ian Ayre was also exciting about Kelly’s extension and sees plenty of potential in the 22-year old defender.
“It’s fantastic news and it runs on from various other players who have committed to us,” Ayre said. “I think everybody has been starting to see and enjoy Martin’s potential and the work he has showed to get into the first team and these are the things we are looking for.”
Locking down Kelly long-term is a move in the right direction for Liverpool. It’s been a rough season for the historic EPL team, but there have been several bright spots along the road so far. With Kelly on board for the long haul, there’s hope for the future for the Reds. For their sake, let’s hope he lives up to the hype.