Rodgers praises Dane's loyalty despite renewed reported interest from Barcelona
Daniel Agger has been named Liverpool FC’s new vice-captain – just days after manager Brendan Rodgers praised the defender’s loyalty amid interest from Barcelona.
Agger replaces Jamie Carragher in the role after the 35-year-old’s retirement at the end of last season.
Rodgers has spent pre-season mulling over who could be understudy to skipper Steven Gerrard, particularly with the most obvious candidate, Pepe Reina, having joined Napoli on a season-long loan.
And the decision to award the position to Agger was announced shortly before Liverpool flew out for this evening’s final pre-season friendly against Celtic in Dublin.
“The job of the captain and vice-captain here at Liverpool is very, very important,” said Rodgers.
“I wanted to give myself time over the course of the pre-season to assess a number of the players and obviously Daniel was one of them.
“His loyalty and his passion for Liverpool is second to none. And if you add that on to his footballing qualities, then I think it's a good choice for everybody.
“From my first conversation with him, he made it very clear that he wants to be here. I've also known during my time here that other clubs have wanted to take him, but he's been very true to his word.
“He's a top-class player and he prepares really well throughout the week. Football is his life and Liverpool is his life.”
Agger, who signed a new long-term contract last October, played 35 league matches last season – his highest total since joining the club from Brondby in January 2006.
Barcelona have been tracking the Denmark skipper throughout the transfer window but have been given little encouragement by the player himself.
And of Agger’s new Anfield role, Rodgers added: “He was delighted when I pulled him over and said that he'd be the one that I would be looking at to step in to Carra's shoes. He was very pleased and very proud as you can imagine.
“He's an international captain and he's been here for a long time - the supporters and the players really recognise that with him.
“I'm sure we'll see an extra percentage rise in his game and in his performance, because he's a very proud man. I've loved working with him and now this gives him an extra responsibility.
“I must say there were another number of players who have proved to be great leaders in their own right over this pre-season. Lucas Leiva, Jordan Henderson, Kolo Toure and some of the other experienced players.
“I'm sure Daniel is a really good choice and that everyone will appreciate that he's now the vice-captain.”