Martin Skrtel admits keeping hold of Luis Suarez is crucial to Liverpool's future.

Skrtel lives close to the ­Liverpool No.7 and their friendship means he can give an insight into the ­Uruguayan's personality.

"If we want to play at the top level, we need to have the top players and, for me, Luis Suarez is one of the top strikers in the world," Skrtel told the Sunday Mirror.

"Luis has had some problems in the past, but, off the pitch, he's a very nice guy. He is my neighbour and I socialise with him off the pitch as well. He is a simple guy who enjoys having his family around him.

"I have even met Luis in Tesco a few times, doing his shopping, so he has no problems living a normal family life in Liverpool."

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