Reports on Thursday suggest that Daniel Agger made an emotional plea to manager Brendan Rodgers during the club's U.S. tour, requesting that he be allowed to leave Liverpool after over eight years at the club.
According to The Mirror's Darren Lewis, Agger "begged" Rodgers to let him leave in a tearful plea to the boss and needed to be consoled by team-mates afterward.
Regardless of whether that's a case of tabloid sensationalism, Agger didn't feature on the U.S. tour after the opening game in Boston. Instead, he flew back to England claimed to be injured.
Chris Waugh of the Daily Mail claimed that Agger will be allowed to leave for around £12 million.
There are, as ever, supporters who have met the news of Agger's potential/imminent departure with disappointment. Those supporters are presumably the same ones who are disappointed that Pepe Reina is leaving the club, too, and are stuck in a perpetual time warp circa 2008.
The truth is, those happy memories that gloss over our minds when we think of Agger are long gone. The days when he, Reina, Xabi Alonso, Dirk Kuyt and Fernando Torres formed the spine of Rafa Benitez's side were six years ago.
Sakho and Lovren
Given that Liverpool have spent a cumulative £38 million on two players who can play in the left-sided centre-back role, it's fair to expect that Agger is far from being a first-choice player any longer.
The Dane started just 18 games last season.
With Mamadou Sakho now entering his second season in the Premier League, the robust Frenchman will be a cornerstone of the Reds defence. And with Dejan Lovren's arrival, he is expected to line up alongside Sakho or Martin Skrtel with Rodgers having identified him as his leader at the back—the eventual replacement to Jamie Carragher.
Rodgers is building a new Liverpool.
With that in mind, it makes very little sense to keep a player—one of the club's highest earners—at the club simply as backup. As nice as that may be to have, it's no good for Liverpool or the player.
Agger turns 30 later this year. This transfer window represents an opportunity to get good money for the player before his value deteriorates fast. Plus, his wages no longer represent his place within the squad. Liverpool want each player to represent their worth.
After eight years at Anfield, making 232 appearances for the club, now would be the right time for Agger to move on for his own career. A change could reinvigorate him as a player.
His time at Anfield has been somewhat unfulfilled, plagued by injuries and never quite delivering what was often promised. A shame for both club and player.
Indeed, a move abroad, perhaps to Spain, may be kind on his body and allow him regular first-team football. It would certainly be nice to see.
Agger is a player who has displayed loyalty to the club—etching "YNWA" on his knuckles amidst transfer interest two years ago—and is someone the fans have an affinity with.
But loyalty and sentiment have little to do with success on the pitch. A manager must make decisions that are in the best interests of the football club—whether they be financially-based moves or related to play on the pitch.
Agger will leave with the best wishes of Liverpool supporters, but let's be clear—it's best for both he and the club.