Daniel Agger pledges commitment to Liverpool with Jamie Carragher on verge of retirement

Centre-back happy to shoulder greater responsibility

Liverpool centre-back Daniel Agger has pledged his future to the club and is happy to shoulder greater responsibility in the wake of Jamie Carragher's departure.

Manager Brendan Rodgers' defence may need significant surgery over the summer with Sebastian Coates seemingly destined for the exit and the future of Martin Skrtel - who lost his place to Carragher in January - uncertain.

However, Agger is happy at Anfield and the 28-year-old insists he is committed to his contract, which does not expire until 2016, despite him being linked with the likes of Manchester City and Barcelona 12 months ago.

"I still have three years left and I intend to fulfil them," the Denmark captain said.

"There are always rumours, but who is creating them? I don't know.

"It is not a bad thing to be linked with top clubs but you have to take 70 per cent (of the speculation) off and then you have the reality."

Carragher retiring at the end of this season leaves Agger as the most experienced defender at the club, having moved to Anfield in January 2006.

While he may not be the most vocal on the pitch, Agger believes he has done - and will do - plenty in terms of leadership but admits he cannot replace Carragher.

"Jamie speaks for himself. To be at that level for that long, it's not impossible but really close," he added.

"You learn from every single player you play with in training. If you want to be the best you have to learn from the best.

"I don't think you have to replace him because every footballer is not the same. Every person is different.

"When someone steps down, someone else has to take over. I play the way I do. I am the person I am and I'm doing the things I'm doing and I won't really change.

"I am taking the responsibility I need to take. I enjoy it and there are a few players who are taking a lot of responsibility."

Aside from the defence requiring a possible overhaul, manager Rodgers knows he has to bring in more players to give Liverpool a chance of challenging for a Barclays Premier League top-four spot.

And even with no European football and a likely seventh-place finish, Agger is confident recruitment will not be a problem.

"Liverpool will always attract great talent and footballers so I'm not worried about that," he said.

"Liverpool is such a big club worldwide I think - and I hope - most players would want to join this club.

"We need to change something. We need to get some goals in and we need to move forward.

"It is difficult to say if the squad needs much work. We've shown some really good football this season but we haven't been consistent enough - we have to admit that.

"That is what we need - we need consistency."

PA

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