Rejuvenated Agger seeking a fresh Anfield start

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The Independent Football

Daniel Agger believes he has to start his Liverpool career all over again after almost 10 months of injury anguish. The 23-year-old played his first senior game since last September in Liverpool's 1-0 friendly win at neighbours Tranmere on Saturday, as he battles to re-establish himself in the Anfield club's defence.

Agger cost £5.8m from Brondby in January 2006, and made an immediate impact, successfully ousting veteran defender Sami Hyypia to become Jamie Carragher's defensive partner.

A serious metatarsal injury eight games into last season kept him on the sidelines, but the young Dane completed 75 minutes at Prenton Park in his comeback.

Liverpool fielded a side of youngsters and squad players, with Yossi Benayoun's first-half strike enough for a comfortable victory.

Agger will continue to work his way back to full match fitness at Liverpool's Swiss training camp during the next fortnight with games against Lucerne, Wisla Krakow and Hertha Berlin in seven days.

He said: "This has been the most frustrating time of my career, I have just had to look forward, concentrate and work hard to get myself back.

"I have missed so much football over the past year that I feel I am almost starting my career at Liverpool all over again."

The Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has highlighted Agger's absence last season as one of the key reasons their title challenge fell away. It meant Hyypia – who had expected a back-up role – played 44 games last term and earnt himself another one-year contract to allow him to complete 10 years at the club.

Agger and Martin Skrtel can be expected to challenge Carragher and Hyypia strongly next season, with the Dane explaining: "The competition here now in central defence is really tough so I must be at my best form and fitness."