Liverpool Transfer News: Martin Kelly Signs New Contract as Rodgers Admits Carragher Will Be Irreplaceable

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Feb 08, 2013 11:00 PM EST
Aleksandar Kolarov Manchester City Martin Kelly Liverpool
Liverpool defender Kelly (R) challenges Kolarov of Manchester City during their English Premier League game last year"


A couple of days after Jamie Carragher announced his retirement from the game, a player who has been tipped to eventually take over the mantle -- Martin Kelly -- agreed a new contract with Liverpool.

Carragher, like Kelly started his career as a fullback, before Rafa Benitez saw his potential as a central defender. Kelly is also a player who, while not having the most natural talent in the world, can follow the path taken by his more illustrious teammate.

The 22-year-old signed a new long-term contract with the club, and expressed his happiness at committing his future to the club he loves.

"I'm delighted to have signed," Kelly told the club's official website. "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 have 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."

Meanwhile, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has said he faces a near impossible task in replacing Carragher at the end of the season.

"He has been a giant for me since I came in here, an incredible man, he is one of a dying breed," Rodgers said. "He is someone who has good real old school values and ethics but, as you can see from his last two performances, he still has the qualities to play at this level.

"He is a real iconic player for this club and, for me, one which will be irreplaceable. I don't think he can be replaced. I genuinely think he is a player who I would call a pure defender.

"You see a lot of rash defending nowadays but he defends with great intelligence, he knows when to mark a man and when to mark space and understands the basic principles of defending.

"He is an outstanding leader and organiser in the team and to find someone with all those capabilities and has the heart the size of a lion is very difficult.

"That type you won't find but you have to look for other types with other qualities and that is something we will have to do."

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