Aside from Luis Suarez, the losses Liverpool has faced this offseason have not been significant, as the rest of the players who left the team were sent out on loan. The list includes defender Andre Wisdom, midfielder Luis Alberto, and forwards Iago Aspas and Divock Origi. But after losing goalkeeper Pepe Reina to Bayern Munich, it looks like Daniel Agger will leave as well, since he requested a transfer after speaking to manager Brendan Rodgers. That gives him a chance to join Spanish giants Barcelona.
Now, there are some ripple effects that will happen if Agger does leave. First of all, the possible sale of Agger to the Catalan club also opens up the opportunity for Manchester United to bid for Arsenal defender and captain, Thomas Vermaelen. Secondly, it significantly weakens the entire Liverpool squad. Even though they added a very talented central defender in Dejan Lovren, the team only has two other defenders worth starting with: Martin Skrtel and Mamadou Sakho.
Squad depth is so much more important this season, because there is Champions League football to worry about. It is hard to compete in multiple competitions if the players behind the first team cannot perform against good opponents. If one of the three central defenders gets injured, Rodgers would have to either rotate less than ideal candidates in Kolo Toure or Sebastian Coates to start, or he could tire them out by playing them two games a week. Last season, Toure looked like he was 40, even though he is only 33 and Coates is coming off an injury plagued season.
Hopefully Toure can play better than he did last season, while Coates regains the form that made him the Best Young Player of the Copa America Award in 2011, because he is still young and willing to fight for a first team place.
If you look at teams that won both the Champions League and their respective League title in one season, they had multiple players who could fill-in if the starter was injured. The 2007-08 Manchester United team had Wes Brown and John O’ Shea as possible replacements for the pair of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic. Also, the 2010-2011 Barcelona team had Gabriel Milito, Eric Abidal or even Javier Mascherano as great depth behind Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique.
Rodgers would have to add another defender to the squad after losing Agger or risk conceding even more goals than the team did last season. Another reason why the hole Agger will create on the team is significant, is that the Danish defender was the vice-captain of the squad. The roster is rather young, and inexperienced with regards to the pressure of playing in a tense match. Another player, maybe Skrtel, Leiva or a younger individual, has to step in and support captain Steven Gerrard both on and off the field.