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The Denmark defender played the first half of Liverpool's 2-1 pre-season defeat to Brondby and the Reds boss insists he is one of the club's finest players

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is adamant that centre-back Daniel Agger remains in his first-team thoughts.

Agger struggled for consistent game time at Liverpool last season, making just 16 Premier League starts, and has been heavily linked with a move away from Merseyside.

Mamadou Sakho ended the season as Rodgers' favoured partner alongside Martin Skrtel as Liverpool went within two points of winning a first league title in the Premier League era.

Agger has since claimed he will not be happy playing second fiddle again this term, while Rodgers' pursuit of Southampton's Dejan Lovren has only fuelled speculation that the Dane's future lies elsewhere.

But speaking after Liverpool suffered a 2-1 pre-season loss to Agger's former club Brondby on Wednesday, Rodgers labelled the 29-year-old one of his top performers.

"Agger is one of the best players we have. He has been unlucky because he has been plagued by injuries last season," the 41-year-old manager told reporters.

"He is a good player, he is experienced and we can use that in the upcoming season."

The Denmark international played the first half of Liverpool's opening friendly of pre-season at Brondby Stadion and Rodgers was enthused by his performance.

"Daniel has signed a contract with us [which expires in June 2016] and he showed in the first half what an excellent player he is," Rodgers said.

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