There's a very interesting word in the English language. "Talisman." According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, it's defined as "an object (such as a ring or stone) that is believed to have magic powers and to cause good things to happen to the person who has it." It's a word frequently used in football to describe players of particular value and meaning to a club and it's fans, a player who helps bring victories and success to the team.
Liverpool have certainly had a number of talismanic players over the decades. Kenny Dalglish. Ian Rush. John Barnes. Robbie Fowler. Jamie Carragher. Kevin Keegan. And of course, Steven Gerrard. This past season, though, that talisman had a different face, one that might surprise people.
Opta loves its numbers, and with the season over they've compiled a list looking at which player on each club helped lead his club to the highest rate of wins. Some of the names are interesting (Darren Fletcher for Manchester United), surprising (John Stones for Everton), or just plain sad (Fabio da Silva for Cardiff, who at 23.1% had the lowest rate of the "leaders").
For Liverpool, one might have expected Steven Gerrard to have the highest win percentage of the club. If not him, then perhaps Martin Skrtel, Luis Suarez, or maybe even Jordan Henderson. The actual name, however, was Daniel Agger, who helped Liverpool win a staggering 85% of his matches, or 17 out of the 20 league matches the great Dane played.
That staggeringly high number is doubly impressive for being the highest rate in the league, better than any other player around. It serves to underline the importance of Agger to the club, despite the increasing volume of the voices of those who would rather do without him. He's a valuable leader on the pitch, and is the kind of player who does whatever is needed of him to help his club win.
As long as Brendan Rodgers still sees a place in this Liverpool side for him, and there's no reason to think doesn't, Agger needs to stay. His experience, talent, and leadership will all be massively important and massively valuable for Liverpool's Champions League campaign next season. His talent on the pitch could certainly be replaced, or even improved on, but not without spending a lot of money needed elsewhere, and any player brought in wouldn't be able to replace Agger's connection to the rest of the squad.
Even in what was inarguably a down season for Agger, he's still provided great value to the squad. This surprising honor of the league's best win percentage proves it, and will hopefully serve of evidence of his need to stay. If it doesn't, then consider this: if he's sold, Elizabeth's scream of anguish will deafen the entire continent. Tread lightly.