Slovak international Martin Skrtel arrived at Anfield in January 2008 with a reputation for being a no-nonsense centre-back.
His signature followed a long search by Rafa Benitez for defensive cover, with Skrtel expected to battle it out with Jamie Carragher, Sami Hyypia and Daniel Agger for a place at the heart of Liverpool's defence.
The 6ft 4 defender began his career with FC Previdza after choosing football over hockey. From there he enjoyed a spell with FC Trencin before moving to the Russian Premier League with FC Zenit in 2004.
Skrtel's performances during 113 games led to international recognition and interest from a host of European clubs including Valencia, Everton and Spurs.
But it was the Reds who eventually clinched his signature and the Slovak made his debut as a second-half sub against Aston Villa on January 21, 2008.
He made 20 appearances at the tail end of that 2007-08 campaign, quickly establishing himself as a Kop favourite.
The hulking centre-back continued to impress the following season, though a knee injury sustained against Manchester City on October 5 kept him sidelined for three months.
Skrtel returned to play a key role in helping Liverpool to their best finish under Rafael Benitez as the Reds secured second place in the Barclays Premier League.