Liverpool Lore: Looking back at Daniel Agger and where he ended up

Daniel Agger of Liverpool (Photo by Matthew Ashton/AMA/AMA/Corbis via Getty Images)
Daniel Agger of Liverpool (Photo by Matthew Ashton/AMA/AMA/Corbis via Getty Images) /

Liverpool Lore is a new weekly series where every Friday we look back at one player from Liverpool’s past. We relive their time with the club and take a look at how they turned out after leaving Anfield. There might not be a better starting point for this series then with Daniel Agger.

He was one of the most beloved players at Liverpool Football Club during his years with the Reds. Agger joined Liverpool in January 2006 when they were the reigning European Champions.

Looking back, the 6 million GBP fee the club paid to Danish side Brøndby would turn out to be pittance for what he brought to the club. His passion and energy on a weekly basis made him a fan favorite.

Joining the European Champions from such a small league would normally lead to a long transitional period for the player. This was only heightened as his first half season was marred by a bevy of injuries limiting him to only 4 appearances.

Unfortunately, a lot of the narrative around his career comes back to injuries. He is a classic case of “What if?”. He was a very gifted defender on the ball with smooth passing and vision. Throw in him being 6’3 and left-footed, he was any manager’s dream for the heart of defense.

He was challenging the likes of club icons Jamie Carragher and Sami Hyypia. Even at his tender age, he did not shy away from the fight. Perhaps still one of the best moments of his career, his first goal for the club will take your breath away even now.

Over the years, he became known for lacing thunderbolts like that. It could be said that Joel Matip’s marauding style from defense is the closest thing we’ve seen to Agger since he left.

The next few seasons after his arrival saw the fiery Dane hampered by injuries. As a result, he could not nail down a Starting XI spot as he probably would have if healthy.

The 2009-10 season was another rough one health wise for Agger but he still managed moments of brilliance like below against Benfica in the Europa League.

Roy Hodgson’s brief, but brutal tenure at Liverpool saw Agger fall out of favor for Martin Skrtel. The arrival of King Kenny Dalglish saw him restored to the side with more regularity before Brendan Rodgers took the reigns.

What made Agger so special is it didn’t matter who was on the touchline. Liverpool fans knew that if he was on the pitch, his heart was on his sleeve and there was no questioning his desire.

He was given the honor of becoming a Vice-Captain when Carragher finally hung up his boots. His leadership qualities were never in doubt and this cemented that. However, the arrival of Mamadou Sakho saw his playing time cut once again as the Sakho-Skrtel pairing was the preferred option.

Then, almost suddenly, during the summer of 2014, at 29 and still in the prime of his career Agger chose to leave Liverpool and go back home to where it all began at Brøndby. Upon his departure, it was reported he turned down more lucrative offers to play in Denmark as its physical demands were much less intense.

It was later revealed that Agger and Brendan Rodgers did not part amicably. When asked about the situation, Agger told The Athletic;

Whenever I had a good offer to go, I told Brendan that if he didn’t see me as part of his plans I’d leave but if he wanted me to stay then I’d fulfil my contract. I loved being at Liverpool.

My family loved it there. But if Brendan had said to me he wasn’t 100 percent sure I would have gone. Brendan said he wanted me there but I don’t think he really did. Looking back, if I knew how 2013/14 was going to pan out, I would have said the previous summer, ‘OK, I want to go to Barca.”

While it was an unceremonious end to his Liverpool tenure, few could begrudge him returning to his homeland and playing out the final few years of his career in peace.

Agger ended his playing career at the age of 31, as injuries definitely accelerated his aging process as a footballer.

In early 2021 he would take charge as Manager of another Danish side HB Køge. He was only in charge for two uneventful seasons before agreeing to not renew his contract.

Throughout his entire playing career, Agger made more than 30 league appearances only once. This was in the 2012-13 season while at Liverpool. Going further, he even only surpassed 25 league appearances in a season on 4 occasions.

Overall, he donned a Liverpool jersey 232 times across all competitions. He scored 14 goals and recorded 11 assists. Constantly battling back from the various injuries that plagued him showed he was about the badge on the front and not the name on the back.

He wanted to be on the field in the thick of the action. While the club did not achieve massive silverware success during his time, he is still remembered fondly. One would think, his skillset and play style would absolutely thrive in the current Liverpool setup.

A player that began from humble beginnings in Denmark was thrown into the deep end at one of the biggest sporting teams in the world. He did not sink, but rather made it his own. Wrapping things up in the serenity of Denmark once again might be a fitting end for the man that never relished the spotlight, but would never shy away.

Wherever you are reading this, lift a drink to toast the one and only, Daniel Agger.