Daniel Agger has been awarded the PFA (Professional Footballers’ Association) Player of the Month for September. The Danish centre back has been in impressive form this season after acclimatising to the Premiership since his arrival in the January transfer window.
Agger began the season with the somewhat surprise inclusion in the Charity Shield against Chelsea, but a solid performance their alongside Carragher no doubt strengthened Rafa Benitez’s belief that he can have a much bigger role this season, particularly with Sami Hyypia in the twilight of his career.
An injury to Carragher on the opening day at Bramhall Lane gave Agger a run at the heart of the defence alongside Hyypia, and when Carragher returned, it was Agger and not Hyypia who kept his place in the side.
When Benitez spent almost six million on the Reds number 5 back in January he became Danish football’s most expensive export, he also became Liverpool’s most expensive defender. Wisely, Benitez choose not to throw the 21 year old “in at the deep end” and gave him the odd game last season against the likes of Birmingham. He also suffered some niggling injuries which prevented his first team opportunities.
But even in the brief displays last season fans noted the calm, collected approach which reminded them of legendary centre back Alan Hansen. And now after a good run in the side, those similarities are clear for all to see; Agger is cool on the ball and more than happy to stride out of defence and move upfield – just as he did on the opening home game of the season to score a stunning strike into the top corner at the Kop end from all of 30 yards for his first Reds goal.
Fellow Dane and former Red Torbien Piechnik said of Agger: “In Daniel Agger Liverpool have bought themselves a player who I believe will turn out to be one of the best signings the club has ever made. Everyone in Denmark is really excited about him and delighted he has joined such a big club as Liverpool.”
“He is tall, strong, good in the air and equally adept on the ground. There’s no doubt Agger is one of the hottest Danish prospects in years and he has the potential to be the mainstay of our national team for years to come.
“His rise to prominence has been a meteoric one. I personally, hadn’t heard of him until he broke into the Brondby first team. He just seemed to appear from nowhere but quickly made an impression at club level and it was not long before he was a deservedly called up by his country.
“At 21 his best years are ahead of him and I can only see him improving at Liverpool. I noticed Rafael Benitez didn’t throw him into the first team straight away and I think that is the right strategy to adopt.”