Daniel Agger had been tipped for a move to quite literally the big time, with Barcelona apparently likely to make a move for him following some impressive performances for Liverpool this season.
However, the frustration dished out by Mats Hummels of Borussia Dortmund, to Barca's main rivals Real Madrid, has seemingly made him their number one defensive target.
As Jamie Carragher and Martin Skrtel have rotated beside him, he has been the one constant in a difficult campaign which has seen Liverpool transformed into an exciting side under Brendan Rodgers.
The biggest threat to that for Rodgers heading into the summer was losing the soul of his side, as Agger could easily have followed Carragher out of the club, with Skrtel still tipped to leave in some places.
It means Rodgers has a strong spine through his side, which he can base the rest of the team around; Reina, Agger, Gerrard and Suarez.
Had Barcelona poached Agger away and had Skrtel also gone, it would have left Rodgers with effectively an entire new defence to build heading into the new season.
That would have made it impossible to spend much of Liverpool’s limited budget elsewhere, because he would have needed all of the cash to create a stable defence, guarding against another poor start to the season.
The cash angle is very important here because Liverpool need to be able to conserve as much of their transfer funds as they possibly can, to ensure they get their first choice targets.
The players they are interested in are bound to have other sides interested in them too, which means a greater chance of a bidding war breaking out.
Liverpool should also be pleased Barca are looking at Hummels for the sake of their younger players.
Rodgers could choose to use plenty of youngsters in his defence next season such as Martin Kelly and Andre Wisdom, which he may have been reluctant to do if he didn’t have Agger to fall back on.
Agger’s experience as a defender in the Premier League means Rodgers shouldn’t now be afraid to throw some teenagers into the team, as he knows Agger will ensure that back four retains its basic shape and everyone does their job properly.
He’s also integral to the way Liverpool play their football at the moment, in the respect that he’s a gifted professional on the ball, able to move possession up to the midfield quickly and he’s aggressive in the opponent’s final third.
There are still going to be a few rumours floating around over his future because of the way Barcelona played in Europe this season, but the point is there are links to other higher profile targets at the moment.
That substantially reduces the chance of Barcelona going for Agger, which means the heart of Liverpool stays in tact.
What sort of season can Agger have next year?
image: © kong niffe