Daniel Agger is now fit again after picking up a freak injury in the gym a few weeks ago. But now that the Liverpool vice-captain is fit again, he has not walked back into the Liverpool starting lineup as Sakho, Skrtel and Toure are occupying the three centre back positions.
If you look at the three current centre backs, none of them deserve to be dropped for Agger as the Danish defender continues to watch the action from the bench.
Former Liverpool defender Mark Lawrenson however, believes that Agger should be starting. Lawrenson said in the Liverpool Daily Post, “From being named vice-captain before the start of the season, now the Dane cannot force his way back into the starting line-up despite Liverpool operating with three centre-backs.
“I would have Agger in on the left of the three centre-backs all day long.
“That may be a bit harsh on Mamadou Sakho, Martin Skrtel or Kolo Toure, depending on who drops out.
“But Agger offers something different. He can bring the ball out of defence and commit people, and in a 3-4-1-2 formation you need at least one centre-back who is going to do that.”
Out of the current three centre backs, none of them are as good on the ball as Agger. As Lawreson mentions, Agger offers something different and his presence could actually help Liverpool step the ball out of defence into attack like the way Alan Hansen used to.
The one problem though with Agger lies in his actual defensive abilities. Sakho, Skrtel and Toure are all hard men and get stuck in, where as Agger is not the type to roll up his sleeves and go crashing into tackles, which is something you really need according to former Liverpool centre back Mark Wright.
Speaking on 5times.co, Wright highlights that defenders need to be willing to get hurt when they are defending. Wright said, “I have though been concerned by the type of goals we have leaked, particularly from dead balls. When you are a centre half you have to want to put your head where the boots are flying, take a knock for the team, get a bust nose or a cut eye, people keep telling me the game has changed but it hasn’t from a free kick when you have to hold your line as it is being tossed into your box. Brendan Rodgers will be saying: ‘look at the goals were are scoring, we can’t be conceding silly ones at the other end!’ We can’t dent ourselves that way.”
It is very difficult to find a centre back these days that has the qualities that both Lawrenson and Wright point out so a balance needs to be found amongst the central defence partnerships on the field. The final decision lies with Brendan Rodgers on how he wants to set up his backline. Either way, it is most likely going to take a serious slip up from one of the defenders to warrant Agger being called back into the side or one of them getting injured. For now though Agger will have to continue to bide his time on the bench.