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How Agger compares to Arsenal's Koscielny-Mertesacker partnership

Following the arrival of Dejan Lovren at Liverpool this summer, Daniel Agger is expected to leave the Anfield outfit. Arsenal are among interested parties.

Agger found himself kept out of the Liverpool side by Martin Skrtel and Mamadou Sakho last term, and the recent arrival of former Southampton stalwart Dejan Lovren has pushed him further out of first team contention. Available at around £12 million, Wenger is reportedly keeping tabs on the 29-year-old.

Should he make the switch to the Emirates, Agger will be expected to provide first-team competition for Koscielny and Mertesacker, who have formed a dominant pairing at the heart of the Arsenal back-four. Following Thomas Vermaelen's move to Barcelona last Sunday, the Gunners' manager has been left with the duo and summer signing Calum Chambers as the only recognised centre-backs in his squad.

Below we look at the each players’ statistics from the previous Premier League season, courtesy of Opta, to decide if the the Denmark international has what it takes to improve Arsenal's current first team central-defensive options.

  TeamPosIntercep Won / appsBlock / appsTotal Clear / appsError Lead To Shot / appsWon Tackle / appsAerial Lost / appsTackle Succ (%)Aerial Duel Success (%)AppMin
Laurent Koscielny Arsenal DF 2.78 0.72 7.31 0.06 1.28 1.44 75.93 53.54 32 2,741
Per Mertesacker Arsenal DF 1.69 0.49 7.06 0.06 0.83 1.31 70.73 67.83 35 3,150
Daniel Agger Liverpool DF 1.05 0.40 5.70 0.15 1.00 1.25 74.07 64.29 20 1,420

It's fair to say, the statistics do not exactly weigh in Agger's favour. Having experienced less regular game time, he weighed in with fewer interceptions, blocks and clearances, whilst he proved far more error prone. 

His saving grace is his ability to win the ball, both on the floor and in the air. Despite averaging fewer tackles per appearance last term, Agger recorded a superior success rate when compared to Per Mertesacker. Whereas his aerial ability proves inferior to the German man-mountain, yet far greater than that of Koscielny. 

Based on the Dane's defensive attributes, it's unlikely that he would challenge the excellent partnership that Koscielny and Mertesacker have formed during their time at the Emirates, after all, it would take an outstanding talent to do so.

The duo complement each other to fantastic effect; while Mertesacker provides the aerial dominance, Koscielny's pace and intelligence allows him to quash opposition attacking moves at ground level.

Agger emerges triumphant in a select number of categories, however, his arrival would only upset the perfect balance that the London outfit's defensive pairing have already mastered so he would likely only play a support role, should he complete a switch to the Emirates. 

The Liverpool-man would be wise to learn from Vermaelen's predicament, prior to his Barcelona move. If a club captain is struggling for first team football, a player of Agger's guile should be fully aware of the mountainous task that he could face.

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