Daniel Agger accuses Brendan Rodgers of forcing six Liverpool stars to quit club

Daniel Agger has accused Brendan Rodgers of forcing six players to leave Liverpool in the latter stages of his time as manager.

Rodgers is now in charge of Leicester, but between 2012 and 2015 he was the manager of Liverpool.

The Northern Irishman guided the Reds to second place in the 2013/14 season as his Liverpool side finished two points behind champions Manchester City.

That season was the high water mark of Rodgers’ time in charge at Anfield, with the club scoring 101 goals in the Premier League season, with the front three of Raheem Sterling, Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge wowing crowds.

But there were rumbling of discontent behind the scenes that year, with Agger frustrated to be behind Martin Skrtel and Mamadou Sakho in the pecking order.

The Danish centre-back played 20 Premier League games that season, winning 17 of them, but was still not the first choice for Rodgers.

“At the time I was shocked and I wanted an explanation but no one could give me one,” he toldThe Athletic.

“Still to this day I’d like to know what happened. Why did I go from being the new vice-captain and first choice to being fourth centre-back in the space of a few weeks? It was very strange.

“I tried to speak to Brendan back then but he told me that nothing was wrong. He said I was a big part of his plans but he didn’t show that.”

Agger was not the only disaffected Liverpool player that season, with several experienced players leaving the club around the summer of 2014.

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The 36-year-old defender, who retired in 2016, has a theory as to why he and others departed the club around the same time.

“I don’t know, maybe because I can be quite direct and I’m a strong character,” he says,

“All the other players in that team who had a big voice and spoke their mind, everybody went out either that season or shortly before or after — me, Pepe Reina, Dirk Kuyt, Glen Johnson, Stevie [Gerrard] and Carra[agher].

“Maybe it was part of changing the whole team. I met Brendan a few years ago at a charity event that Kasper Schmeichel and his wife put on in Denmark.

“I asked Brendan if I could speak to him after and he said ‘yeah’ but then he disappeared before we could talk.

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“I still want to speak with him. There are no bad feelings now but there must be something he can tell me about what changed.

“From what I hear, he’s a different manager now. You learn from your mistakes.

“The media at the time wrote that I went into see Brendan crying, saying that I wanted to go home to Denmark to play. But the exact opposite was true.

“I went to see Brendan and said I didn’t understand why I wasn’t playing but I respected his decision.

“I did everything I could in training to force my way back into the team. Every time I played I delivered but in the end I just had enough.”

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