Daniel Agger has been hailed as "outstanding" by former team-mate Craig Bellamy, who claims the Liverpool defender is "the closest thing I have seen to Alan Hansen".
In a week when it was being suggested that Agger's defensive rival Martin Skrtel was unhappy with life out of the side at Anfield, Bellamy underlined how tough the competition for places is now for the title chasers.
Bellamy said: "Agger is outstanding. I have watched Liverpool a lot over the years and for me Agger is the closest thing I have seen to Alan Hansen."
Wales captain Bellamy crossed swords with the Danish centre-half in Copenhagen on Wednesday. Bellamy came out trumps in the clash with 23-year-old Agger, netting the second-half winner in a friendly international against Denmark.
He added: "That's the best compliment I can give him. When he gets possession he can move confidently into midfield, he joins in the passing.
"He is comfortable on the ball and has really impressed me. I liked him a lot as a person, he is down-to-earth and level-headed.
"Nothing fazes him, nothing gets on top of him, he is an outstanding player."
Liverpool bought Skrtel last January because of the continued injury problems that had kept out Agger for months.
Bellamy continued: "Agger was injured and that cost him his place to Martin Skrtel. Even when he was fit again he could not get back into the side, but at a place like Liverpool you have to earn the right to play.
"He had to bide his time and although it was bad luck for Skrtel when he got injured, Daniel has got his chance again. The same will happen when Skrtel is fit again. He will find it hard to get back into the team because Daniel is playing so well."
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