It’s always the same story for Liverpool in the transfer window—overly keen to say hello, reluctant to say goodbye.
The Reds have brought a wealth of talent to Anfield over the summer but, Iago Aspas aside, haven’t parted with any household names for 2014/15.
The likes of Fabio Borini, Oussama Assaidi and Sebastian Coates, who aren’t likely to be a part of manager Brendan Rodgers’ plans this season, are no closer to the exit door.
However, one star that the Reds must keep in their ranks is the out-of-favour Daniel Agger, whose future on Merseyside has come under the microscope frequently over the last few months.
A stalwart of Liverpool’s side since his arrival from Brondby in 2006, Agger found chances few and far between last season, resulting in respective dips in morale and confidence.
Such is the defender’s talent, though, that clubs from around Europe have been sniffing around for his signature, and the defender admitted to Jyllands-Posten that his future at Anfield is far from certain—via Andy Hunter of The Guardian:
"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."
The fact that Agger deems his future in Liverpool’s hands is an absolute blessing, though, as the Reds simply need the Danish international in their setup.
Not in the kind of way that Real Madrid and Spain still "need" the aging Iker Casillas, who rather gets into the teams because of his name, but because the 29-year-old can still offer much to the Liverpool cause.
Squad depth is an all-important factor in success, and the fact that Liverpool didn’t have sufficient cover at the back last season is arguably what cost them the Premier League title.
Alberto Moreno and Dejan Lovren’s arrivals see to that problem, but Champions League football returning to Anfield means that a busier season schedule is on the way for the Reds.
It means that Rodgers will have to adopt a solid rotational policy throughout the season, and with the Northern Irish manager determined to fight for trophies on all fronts, the respite may not come until next summer.
Agger will battle it out with Mamadou Sakho and Martin Skrtel for a place in the starting line-up alongside Lovren if he remains in red, but the Dane offers something that none of the trio can—experience.
The 29-year-old was instrumental in Liverpool’s last meaningful stint in Europe, guiding the Reds all the way to the final, and playing among the elite could see him lift his game.
There are those that will say that Agger is too prone to an error to be a regular in the Liverpool setup. But what exactly are Sakho and Skrtel if that’s the case?
Both defenders have a wild, enigmatic side to their play, and as journalist Sebastien C. noted, there’s more to a player than statistics:
A few niggling injuries and the occasional slip-up saw Agger tumble down the Reds’ defensive pecking order last season, but all he truly wants to do is play football.
As Darren Lewis of the Daily Mirror revealed, Agger was said to have broken down in tears pleading with Rodgers to let him leave in the bid for regular football, but as reported by journalist Joe Krishnan, that wasn’t strictly true:
The praise that Krishnan gives Agger is truly deserved, and besides, did you really think that the rock-solid Dane wept into Rodgers’ arms over football?
Match time gives Agger confidence, and with the Reds fighting on so many front in 2014/15 that’s likely to come in abundance.
The 29-year-old started last season as the first-choice centre-back and club vice captain, but, much like Liverpool’s defence itself, that was turned upside-down.
There’s no reason, then, why Agger can’t be subject of a reverse of fortunes this time around. His versatility, leadership, experience and professionalism are exactly what the Reds need in such an important campaign, and letting him go could well be at their peril.