Should Dejan Lovren complete the Merseyside switch he’s hankering for, Brendan Rodgers will have nine potential first-team centre-backs to chose from this season.
Obviously some, like Sebastian Coates and Tiago Ilori can be loaned out, while others (Andre Wisdom and Martin Kelly) play at the heart of the defence as a secondary position.
Kolo Toure, Daniel Agger, Martin Skrtel and Mamadou Sakho are all definite options for the Northern Irish boss though and the LMA Manager of the Year won’t need five spaces in his squad for centre-backs this term.
If Lovren arrives, the 15/2 Premier League hopefuls will need to balance their resources and with Toure recently signing a contract extension and Sakho enjoying a solid World Cup, neither are at risk of the chop.
That leaves Skrtel and Agger battling it out and, if reports suggesting the Dane has been offered to Barcelona are to be believed, it will be the former Brondby man who’s sacrificed.
Skrtel’s hand in the three-goal slip at Crystal Palace that helped lose Liverpool the league title last season could be a reason Reds fans may disagree, but the decision to sell Agger is the right one.
Rodgers showed last term he isn’t too concerned with defending, meaning Skrtel’s copybook won’t have been blotted too much by such showings as the Palace game.
What the Liverpool manager holds dearer is his passing philosophy and the Slovakian is the leader of the back four in adhering to it. Along with Sakho, Skrtel completed over 90 per cent of his passes last term, while also contributing greatly with seven goals.
Agger and Toure both had pass completion rates in the high 80s, but also attempt around 20 less balls per match on average compared to their two teammates.
As the Ivorian is already signed up to a new deal, likely at far less money than Agger which gives Rodgers greater flexability in the transfer market, it makes sense that the 29-year-olds nine-season Anfield career is earmarked to end.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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