Sarah Fitzpatrick pays tribute to Liverpool legend Daniel Agger following his move back to Brondby after eight years at Anfield.
Danish defender Daniel Agger completed a £3 million move to former club Brondby from Liverpool last week and many Reds fans were saddened to see the defender leave following eight years with the club.
Agger made 232 appearances and netted 14 times for the club, including a couple of long range screamers, such as the ones against West Ham and Blackburn.
The Dane was as tough as nails, a great reader of the game and was also comfortable with the ball at his feet. However, these are not the attributes for which he will be remembered by Liverpool fans.
It is undoubtedly Agger’s outstanding loyalty that is the greatest characteristic of the man.
Loyalty is a rarity in modern football, even in homegrown players, but it is almost unheard of regarding foreign players who transfer to English clubs. Daniel Agger is an exception to the rule and that separates him from many others in modern football.
The 6ft 3inch Dane oozes class and loyalty, which he has shown time and time again during his period at Liverpool Football Club.
Daniel Agger was never silent regarding his feelings towards Liverpool and during the summer of 2012 the defender opted to take a unique way to show his loyalty to Merseyside club. Manchester City had monitoring the defender for a while and had two bids rejected by Liverpool in 2012 but were still planning on bidding a third time.
It didn’t seem to matter how many times Liverpool rejected City’s approach because the Manchester club felt as though they could land their target. Daniel Agger decided to take the matter into his own hands (literally) and got Y.N.W.A tattooed on his knuckles to show his dedication to Liverpool and pour water over the speculation surrounding his future. Loyalty at its best.
The Danish defender wanted the world to know where his heart was and he explained the tattoo to the press.
“I thought about it for a long time. I feel a part of this club and I feel a part of this city. I am proud to be here and I think my knuckles show that.”
Agger didn’t just get his knuckles tattooed to show his loyalty to Liverpool as he also stuck by the Merseyside club through thick and thin. The Danish defender arrived at the club when they were seen as a force in Europe and solidified their place in the top four in the Premier League. However, during his time at the club, Liverpool endured a major downfall.
The Merseyside club was taken over by Americans Tom Hicks and George Gillett, two businessmen thatmany Reds fans blame for the financial turmoil and tough times at the club both on and off the field. These tough times saw Liverpool fall out of the top four and almost into administration only to be rescued by American tycoon John Henry.
John Henry helped to bring a massive turnaround at Liverpool, which we see at Anfield today but it didn’t happen overnight and instead many big names began to leave the club.
Xabi Alonso and Alvaro Arbeloa opted for Real Madrid while Javier Mascherano forced a move to Barcelona and Fernando Torres controversially opted for Chelsea.
These exits brought a lot of attention to Agger from big European clubs such as Barcelona and the two Milans and it would have been much easier for Agger to leave the club. Instead, he stayed put and gave everything to help Liverpool during a time of transition.
Many could say that Liverpool couldn’t afford to lose any other big name players and so they blocked any attempts to take Agger away from Anfield but that is simply not true. Liverpool rejected bids from Manchester City while Barcelona, AC Milan and Inter Milan showed interest in the player but the player himself decided that he wanted to remain at Anfield as he said.
“I wouldn’t leave here to go anywhere else and that has been proven in recent seasons. I have turned down many offers to move to other Premier League and European clubs.”
This outstanding determination to help Liverpool became more important to Agger than any selfish individual need or desire a player may have and this is something that Liverpool fans will always appreciate. No matter the future Agger will always remain an Anfield legend.
Loyalty was not only a characteristic that Agger has himself but something that he looked for in other people which is why he felt a need to air his opinion regarding Fernando Torres when the Spaniard left for Chelsea in 2011. The Danish defender was disappointed with the behaviour of Torres when leaving for Chelsea and openly stated,
“It is unacceptable to play for one of Liverpool’s arch rivals. It’s about having respect for the club you play at. I am proud to be able to pull on my Liverpool jersey and I will never go to another club in England”.
Agger didn’t just have these words to say to show his disapproval of Torres’ behaviour as he showed his disapproval on the pitch when Chelsea and Liverpool faced each other, which was also Torres’ first game for Chelsea.
Torres picked up the ball during a Chelsea attack and Agger launched an elbow towards the striker to take him out and end the Chelsea attack but the Danish defender also managed to go unpunished for the elbow, which pleased the Liverpool faithful that Torres had left heartbroken after his departure.
Agger was rewarded for his outstanding loyalty by being named Liverpool’s vice-captain after Jamie Carragher retired at the end of the 2012-13 season. Sadly, he faced many obstacles in the 2013-14 season because of injury and competition in defence with the likes of Skrtel, Sakho and Toure, which saw him lose his place in the starting line-up.
The defender only featured briefly in Liverpool’s pre-season this summer before being sent back home from America, increasing the speculation regarding his future. The defender was faced with a really difficult decision to either stay at Anfield and possibly not feature too often or leave the club he has given everything to for the last eight years.
Fortunately, Ageer managed to reach a decision that pleased himself and helped him remain loyal to the Liverpool fans.
The decision was to return home to Brondby, the club that helped him launch his career and allowed him to move to Liverpool. Agger explained this move by explaining:
“the opportunity arose for me to return home to Brondby and at this stage of my career it felt like the right decision.”
It was the perfect move as Agger will now feature for the Danish side regularly and can still remain a part of Liverpool family.
“The club itself is very special and I shall remain a supporter for the rest of my life. I regard every game I played at Anfield a privilege”.
Sarah Fitzpatrick, Pundit Arena.
Featured image By Inge Knoff from Oslo, Norway [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.