Record English championship winners Liverpool FC could be confidently described as an institution in English football. So when the Anfield club invests its highest ever transfer fee for a defender, it is safe to assume we are talking about an exceptional talent. Step forward Danish defender Daniel Agger who left his homeland to join the Reds in 2006.
“Daniel knows what he wants. He is always very focused and performs consistently well. He is the best Danish defender in 20 years,” proclaimed his coach Rafael Benitez at the time.
And the 25-year-old announced himself in style just months later when his first goal came in the form of a 35-yard rocket voted BBC’s “Goal of the Month”. Liverpool legend Ian Rush was full of praise for the central defender: “Players like Agger can turn a game with their offensive qualities. He’ll score many more goals for Liverpool because he has excellent striking technique.”
Gary Gillespie, another Reds stalwart, added: “What impresses me is his ball control. Agger can pass the ball safely out of danger or take the game to the opposition with the ball at his feet.”
Standing 1.9 metres tall, Agger is a rock in the rearguard of the Danish Dynamite and well equipped to frustrate opposing strikers in South Africa this summer. And with his physical presence, he is a potent threat in the opposing penalty area.
Agger’s abilities extend beyond the goalmouth, however. An excellent passer of the ball, the defender can open up the play from the back. “It’s my style to involve myself in the attacking play. I love to carry the ball forward. You just need to have the courage to do it,” says the Dane.