Barcelona will have been put on red alert by long-term defensive target Daniel Agger’s suggestion that he could leave Liverpool if he can’t force his way back into Brendan Rodgers’ starting line-up.
The Anfield club are two points behind Premier League-leaders Arsenal and 13/10 to finish in the top four this term, but find themselves struggling to accommodate their vice-captain after signing up three new centre-halves over the summer.
Agger was in the team for Liverpool’s three league wins without conceding at the start of the season.
Rodgers’ side only let in their first goals of the Premier League campaign after the big Dane’s freak dumbbell-related injury in training ahead of his side’s visit to Swansea and Agger was badly missed, with former Red Jonjo Shelvey luckily causing as many problems for his new employers as his old in a 2-2 draw.
The former Brondby man headed on an assist for Daniel Sturridge’s early winner in the previous game against Man Utd and was part of a Liverpool rearguard that threw themselves in front of four of the champions ten efforts on goal in that clash.
Martin Skrtel may be flavour of the month at Anfield, but he is prone to lapses in form.
The Slovakian was dropped after his side’s 2-1 loss at Old Trafford in January last season only to return with a woeful display a fortnight later in the 3-2 FA Cup reverse against Oldham, prompting his manager to accuse Skrtel and fellow centre-back Sebastian Coates of making Latics forward Matt Smith look like Didier Drogba.
Skrtel was expected to leave Merseyside over the summer, with former Reds manager Rafa Benitez keen to take him to Napoli, but an injury to Coates forced Rodgers’ to hang on to a player he insists is now benefitting from Liverpool’s new system of three at the back.
Liverpool kept 15 clean sheets in the Premier League last season with Agger in the starting line-up, but Skrtel was only present for ten top-flight shut-outs in 2012/13.
After his Boundary Park debacle Skrtel only made three more starts last term and the only clean sheet to his name after February came in the Reds’ season finale at Anfield against already-relegated QPR, which Rodgers’ team won 1-0.
During his teammate’s hiatus from Premier League action Agger’s defence-marshalling provided the platform for big wins to nil against Norwich, Swansea, Wigan and Newcastle plus three more shut-outs in stalemates with West Ham, Reading and Everton.