Daniel Agger is growing frustrated by the lack of clarity surrounding his Liverpool future, and the Reds need to be careful in how they approach his situation in the final week of the 2014 transfer window.
As reported by Metro's Richard Buxton, the Danish centre-back couldn't hide his frustrations in an interview with Jyllands-Posten:
The future is complicated. There are a few things that has to be sorted and we have to take it from there. I actually don’t know what will happen. It is a bit up to Liverpool.
I have had niggling injuries at the wrong times and I have to say that it is difficult to change the team when it is winning. I am not frustrated by that. I am frustrated the way it happened and the way it was handled.
The 29-year-old has seen a sharp decline in playing time over the last season, and following the arrival of Dejan Lovren, his spot in the pecking order seems to have dropped even further.
Lovren partnered Martin Skrtel in the team's first two Premier League fixtures, with French international Mamadou Sakho also an option to play ahead of Agger. Injuries haven't helped his case, but Brendan Rodgers is likely to prefer the trio of Lovren, Skrtel and Sakho before fielding the Danish international, even when he's healthy.
Skrtel and Lovren were solid, if unspectacular, during the Reds' first two Premier League matches of 2014-15. The 3-1 loss against Manchester City was ugly, but all three goals came from the left wing. The first was a mistake from new signing Alberto Moreno, who looked solid in his debut and will only grow in his role.
The Citizens' third goal could have been avoided had Lovren and Skrtel communicated better, but you'll be hard-pressed to find any centre-back capable of keeping up with Sergio Aguero at full speed. A left-footed player might have been able to make a sliding stop, but that's no more than speculation.
The one thing that came to light against City is that central defence isn't a position where you can just plug and play—it takes time building chemistry, and there simply is no substitute for experience inside the system.
Lovren is a magnificent player, and of all the centre-backs Rodgers has at his disposal, there's little doubt the Croatian will log the most minutes. Even if it takes time for him to adapt to the pace of the Reds, his spot in the starting XI is safe.
As a veteran of eight years with Liverpool, Agger's experience at the highest level and with the club is his greatest asset. He can be a valuable backup in case of injuries, and his presence will help the younger players and new arrivals in training.
The question is whether he would be OK with such a role on the team. If he isn't, it makes sense to entertain offers from other clubs. But this late in the transfer window and with most of the top clubs having already invested in the position, the offers might be a lot lower than Rodgers would like.
Where should Agger's future lie?
One bad loss against the defending Premier League champions shouldn't play into the club's transfer strategy, and even if Rodgers wanted to bring additional defensive reinforcements, the market has run pretty dry.
Finding a suitable replacement for the experienced Agger could prove nearly impossible, and with Champions League football on the schedule for 2014-15, the Reds need at least four centre-backs capable of starting at the highest level in the squad. Kolo Toure no longer belongs to that group.
Agger's current situation with the Reds is more than just complicated, and Liverpool need to be very cautious moving forward. The Dane sounds willing to battle for his position and prove he's deserving of a starting spot, and, at this point in time, that might be the safest option for Rodgers to choose.