With it being the 21st year of the 21st century I’ve compiled a list of the best 21 players at the club in that time.
I’ve tried to be as fair as possible and judge only on standards and appearances made. I’ve counted only appearance made from he 2000/2001 season and goals scored from that season for players who played at that time. I’ve included goals scored and trophies won though I did not use these as determining factors in my selection. While its always easy to go to goal scorers or flair players I’ve tried to be as fair as possible to defenders, goalkeepers and “less attractive” midfielders.
Based on the above I’ve omitted players like Robbie Fowler who though he was at the club at various times in the century I would have included him based on the heart more then the head had I done so. Finally, when I had my final 21 it was perhaps more difficult to position them within the list then it was to pick the 21 individuals so I’m not expecting agreement with my list …
21: Emile Heskey. Appearances: 223. Goals:60. Trophies: 5. Service: 5 years
Formed a formidable partnership with Michael Owen at the turn of the century. Had pace and power. Scored some important, and impressive goals without having a spectacular goal to game ratio. Important part of the team that won the treble and brought the club back into the ranks in Europe
20: Phillipe Coutinho. Appearances: 201. Goals:54. Trophies: 0. Service: 5 years
Won’t be the most popular choice on the list but he was a gem of a player. Scorer, and creator, of wonderful goals
19: Didi Hamann. Appearances: 250. Goals: 10. Trophies: 8. Service: 5 1/2 years
The big German was a bit of a surprise signing at the time but what a signing. His style is probably unfairly labelled as defensive midfielder. H e was well capable of getting forward, smart with the ball, and scored 1 or 2 belters. Complimented those around him really well
18: Michael Owen. Appearances: 169. Goals: 98. Trophies: 5. Service: 4 1/2 years
Like Coutinho this won’t be a popular shout as his circumstances for leaving and indeed where he ended up at one-point won’t endear him to the fans, but nobody can take away what he gave the club in his spell here. Between 98 and 02 arguable he was unplayable. Electrifying pace and a fantastic finisher. Arguable if the 2001 breakthrough happens without him. Shame he never had that second spell
17: Lucas Leiva. Appearances: 346. Goals: 7. Trophies: 0. Service: 10 years
The only negative about Lucas was that he was injured in 2012 to miss out on winning a well-deserved trophy for his spell at the club. Signed as an attacking midfielder it would be in the defensive midfield role that he would establish himself. After a difficult start to his career he would become a fan favourite. Hard working and honest. An adopted scouser.
16: Dirk Kuyt. Appearances: 285. Goals: 71. Trophies: 1. Service: 6 years
Like Lucas, Kuyty was a fan favourite through his sheer work rate and desire. Loved scoring a peno against the bitters to. The bigger the match the better Dirk Kuyt was
15: Trent Alexander Arnold. Appearances: 153. Goals: 8. Trophies: 4. Service: 4 1/2 years
Scary that a 20-year-old, and a full back at that, waltz’s into a place in the top 15 players in the Club over the last 21 years. So much potential. I wont comment too much on one with a whole career ahead of him other then to say when if I was to re do this list at 50 years, he would be much higher up the list.
14: Alisson Becker: Appearances: 106. Goals: N/A. Trophies: 3. Service: 2 1/2 years
Sander Westerveld, Jerzy Dudek, Pepe Reina, Chris Kirkland, Scott Carson, Simon Mignolet, all came in, all had qualities, but all had faults or mistakes in them, not this one. Arguably the best in the world at this point in time. History will show how vital he was to ending our wait for the title. He will be a reason we win more.
13: Xabi Alonso: Appearances: 210. Goals: 19. Trophies: 3. Service: 5 years
My favourite type of player. The one who see the pass that nobody else sees, and then executes it perfectly. Crazy to think Rafa was willing to trade him in for Gareth Barry. Alonso’s class in the middle-allowed Stevie to play a more attacking game, which reaped massive reward. Scored the equaliser in Istanbul in 05. Perhaps though the game where he showed his true worth was away at Juventus in the quarter final of that year. His first game back after a long injury lay off, and with Stevie out injured, he bossed it against a much fancied and very talented Juve. Showed his excellence at Real and Bayern which would have you wonder what more we could have achieved with him. Top player
12: Fernando Torres: Appearances: 142. Goals: 81. Trophies: 0. Service: 3 1/2 years
Speaks volumes of the impact he had that in a short enough spell which led to no trophies before leaving for Chelsea that I rate him at number 12. This guy was exceptional for his time here. Supreme finisher with explosive speed. Loved the sight of Vidic. From that opening goal v Chelsea he had me. Shame it ended the way it did.
11: Roberto Firmino: Appearances: 269. Goals: 83. Trophies: 4. Service: 5 1/2 years
While one or two on the list might raise an eyebrow Bobby being only 11 might do likewise! His past few months won’t go down as his best but what he brought before that and what he brings overall to this group can’t be overstated. Technically brilliant with great awareness of his teammates around him and his work rate for the team. Just a top top player
10: Gini Wijnaldum: Appearances: 211. Goals: 21. Trophies: 4. Service: 4 1/2 years
When he’s gone people will realise just how good this fella is. Just a total footballer. History will most likely remember him as scoring the 2 goals off the bench v Barcelona in 2019, but he is so much more then that
9: Sami Hyppia: Appearances: 418. Goals: 33. Trophies: 8. Service: 9 1/2 years
His response to being told he was losing the captaincy to Stevie says all you need to know about this man. A true legend. A rock at the back and that was including times when he was surrounded by people who perhaps should never have been Liverpool players. If a list was compiled of all-time club bargains Sami would be a good shout for number 1. Class act in every way
8: Andy Robertson: Appearances: 151. Goals: 5. Trophies: 4. Service: 3 1/2 years
I was delighted we signed him. Not because I thought he would be as good as he is I simply thought at the price we paid we have gotten a good player who in time as we develop he will drop down the ranks and be a very good 2nd choice…..develop he did, into arguably the best left back in the game. Pure energy and will to win. I should probably use his assists rather than his goals scored for his stats. Proof that every Liverpool team should have a Scot in it
7: Luis Suarez: Appearances: 133. Goals: 82. Trophies: 1. Service: 3 1/4 years
Genius. Flawed or otherwise. If I was any good Id have a video showing his goals. Just a different animal. For some he’s in the discussion with Kenny as our greatest ever ability wise and that probably best sums up how good he was.
6: Jamie Carragher: Appearances: 629. Goals: 2. Trophies: 9. Service: 13 years
Only Alisson has scored less goals then Carra (unless I include own goals!) But only Stevie G gave longer service, and don’t forget Carra predates 2000. Right back, centre back, left back, centre mid. Played them all, and played them all solidly. Probably the word that sums him up best, solid. When I think of Carra I think last ditch tackles v AC Milan in 05 so tired the tackle led to cramps, but he gets up and goes again. Vocal, a captain with no armband needed. When all is said and done and all time teams are picked hell probably miss out more often then not to Hansen and VVD but anyone who did select him wouldn’t be far wrong.
5: Sadio Mane: Appearances: 194. Goals: 90. Trophies: 4. Service: 4 1/2 years
At number 5 is number 6 favourite current player. That’s some accolade. Another is that he’s the closest player to John Barnes we have seen. Nothing I can add to make him sound any better. World class
4: Jordan Henderson: Appearances: 384. Goals: 30. Trophies: 5. Service: 9 1/2 years
Similar to Robbo, when we signed him, I thought yes good signing. But I didn’t see future captain who lifts the league to end the drought. And what a leader he has become. Another player who probably had to adapt his game over time, but he has become a top midfielder, reliable and an excellent leader. I do however think, like Gini, some will only realise just how important he is when he is no longer there
3: Mo Salah: Appearances: 177. Goals: 111. Trophies: 4. Service: 3 1/2 years
Look at the goals to game return. Special. I admit, when we signed him my first reaction was, we don’t need him we have Sadio and we have Bobby and Coutinho and Sturridge. Man was my face red!! No matter what the future holds from this point on the impact of Mo Salah on Liverpool football club is massive
2: Virgil Van Dijk: Appearances: 130. Goals: 13. Trophies: 4. Service: 3 years
I mentioned a value for money list regarding our signings. Sami Hyppia would be high up on that list, but still behind Virgil Van Dijk. His impact while well regarded by everyone, is probably still underestimated. A phenom. Plays the game at his pace and nothing you can do about it. No forward has the better of him. He reads the game like he had the script before kick-off. His coolness in all situation is unique. A beast in the air. Doesn’t mis time tackles. Great vision for a pass.
1: Steven Gerrard: Appearances: 662. Goals: 184. Trophies: 9. Service: 15 1/2 years
Thought long and hard about placing him somewhere else, just to be different, but I wanted to do the list the right way, and that can mean only Stevie being number 1. Everything that can be said about him has been said. Just a pure football talent who would have graced any side of any generation be it Liverpool or elsewhere. Who could have for seen the impact he would have when he debuted off the bench as a skinny little kid with a funny haircut. Who foreseen the worldies he scores after his first one when he slalomed past Des Walker all those years ago? Yes, we came close to losing him, twice, thankfully we kept him. Istanbul will be forever in the memory but so to will the fact he missed out on a premier league. Most likely the best, and most deserving player to have never won it. But maybe, just maybe there’s another chapter in Stevie’s Liverpool story that sees him win more then one premier league title in another guise. But until that day comes Ill rate him as the greatest Liverpool player of the 21st century