• Premier League

Lovren can be new Carragher, says Rodgers

ESPN staff
August 11, 2014
Dejan Lovren scored in the 4-0 win against Borussia Dortmund © Getty Images

Brendan Rodgers has claimed Dejan Lovren can be the new Jamie Carragher at Anfield following his goal-scoring debut in Liverpool's 4-0 friendly thrashing of Borussia Dortmund.

Lovren, who scored for Southampton in their 1-0 win at Anfield last season, repeated the trick with Liverpool's second goal on a debut to savour.

Now Rodgers feels his £20 million signing can be the man to fill the shoes of Anfield legend Carragher, who retired in 2013.

Liverpool finished runners-up to Manchester City in the Premier League last season but only had the division's eighth-best record at the back as they let in 50 goals, with Rodgers identifying Lovren as the solution to his defensive woes.

"Dejan was perfect," said Rodgers. "He is exactly what I've been looking for since Jamie Carragher left.

"He is a dominant, No.1 centre-half, who reads the game well, offers good guidance to the back four and the rest of the team - and shows his qualities of range of passing too. You saw with the pass to Coutinho in the build-up to the first goal.

"Just like he showed against us last year he's dominant in the box - both in ours and the opposition's - and I thought he was excellent."

Brendan Rodgers says Liverpool have received no bids for Daniel Agger © Getty Images

Rodgers also revealed Liverpool have received no offers for Daniel Agger, despite increasing speculation over the defender's Anfield future.

Agger was not involved in Sunday's win because of a knee problem but his dwindling first-team prospects have been dealt another blow by the arrival of fellow left-sided centre-back Lovren.

The 29 year old reportedly broke down in tears on Liverpool's pre-season tour of America and begged Rodgers to let him leave the club, with his manager said to have agreed to grant Agger his wish.

Agger has been linked with a return to his former club Brondby, whose chairman Jan Bech Andersen said he was keen to sign the defender.

Arsenal, Tottenham and Barcelona are among the other clubs reported to be interested, though the Catalan club's interest may have cooled after signing Thomas Vermaelen.

"I saw some stories on Agger, but we haven't had any enquiries," Rodgers told the Liverpool Echo.

"Daniel is still getting some work done on his knee. He's been unfortunate since the [club's pre-season] tour of America, but we haven't had anything, no offers."

Agger joined Liverpool from Brondby for £6 million in January 2006.

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