Written By: Edward Lahner
Despite what may of not gone Liverpool’s way in the 2-2 draw against Everton, Virgil Van Dijk requiring surgery on his anterior cruciate ligament in his knee after a dangerous challenge from Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford went punished, and Sadio Mané being harshly deemed offside in the lead up to Jordan Henderson’s disallowed winner, Mohammed Salah managed to reach the industrious list of players to have scored more than 100 goals for the club. I count down the top 5 greatest attackers in the club’s marvellous history. Of course this is my opinion and it isn’t necessarily set in stone…
5. Mohammed Salah (2017-) – Appearances: 165, Goals: 104, Trophies: 4
The Egyptian King has to get a place in my list. In his first season for the club, there were doubts over his ability to adapt to the challenges the Premier League offers after failing to make an impression at Chelsea. After a slightly slow start, Salah went on to break the Premier League 38 game goalscoring record shared by Alan Shearer, Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Suarez after slotting home 32 goals. He also arguably played the greatest role in the Champions League run and his injury in the final as a result of a Sergio Ramos foul became one of the year’s biggest talking points. Reds fans will fondly remember his decisive away goal against Manchester City in the quarter finals and the quick fire brace against Roma in the semi finals. The question was could he do it again? Yes he could. Salah ended the 2018/19 Premier League season as joint-top scorer with fellow Liverpool attacker Sadio Mané and Arsenal speedster, Pierre Emerick Aubameyang on 23 goals. Most famously, he would avenge the previous year’s Champions League final disappointment by scoring the opening goal in the 2019 final, barely a minute into the 2-0 win over Spurs which brought home Champions League number 6 for the Reds. He also scored his penalty in the shootout victory over Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup and played a great part in the Club World Cup triumph in Qatar. His 19 goals last season also led to the Premier League victory and this is why he makes my list. Despite their heavy involvements, Fernando Torres never won a trophy and Luis Suarez only had a League Cup medal to his name. Kevin Keegan is another honourable mention, finishing his Liverpool career in 1977 with Champions League and First Division trophies and ironically 100 goals like Salah. I feel, however, that Mo has more to bring for the club.
4. Robbie Fowler (1993-2001 + 2006-2007) – Appearances: 266, Goals: 128, Trophies: 5
Arguably the greatest player in the club’s history to never win a Champions League trophy after narrowly missing out in the 2007 final, Fowler was given the nickname “God” by the Liverpool fans due to his incredible natural ability to score goals and narrowly beats Michael Owen to 4th place in my list. (partly because he didn’t move to Manchester United, although his Leeds move was a big shock) He is currently the 7th highest scorer in the Premier League’s history and his first 13 games for the club yielded 12 goals. He is most famously remembered for scoring the Premier League’s second fastest hat trick in 4 minutes and 33 seconds against Arsenal during the 1994/95 season, a record that stood for 20 years until broken by future Liverpool player Sadio Mané. He is also the only player to score 30 goals or more in his first 3 full seasons in England. He also famously scored twice away at Old Trafford in a 2-2 draw and a rocket against Birmingham City in the 2001 League Cup triumph. He did have some controversial moments in his career including jokingly sniffing a white line of the penalty area after a goal against Everton, replicating cocaine use after false accusations of drug abuse. He received a 4 match ban from the FA for the incident. Despite this, Robbie Fowler is seen as the shining light of Liverpool in the 1990s which in general let down many of the fans by failing to even remotely replicate the success of the previous generation. He therefore gets 4th place in my list.
3. Roger Hunt (1958-1969) – Appearances: 492, Goals: 285, Trophies: 7
Despite Ian Rush surpassing Hunt’s overall goal tally, the 5ft 9 forward from Lancashire remains the club’s record league scorer with 244 goals. He was monumental in Liverpool’s promotion to the 2nd Division in 1962 under Bill Shankly, scoring 41 goals in 41 games including 5 hat tricks. He also scored the opening goal in extra time of the 1965 FA Cup final victory over Leeds United in Liverpool’s first FA Cup final appearance since 1950. Incidentally, this was the first time the club won the trophy. A fun fact is that he scored the first televised goal on Match Of The Day, the BBC programme watched by millions every weekend across Britain. He was also part of the 1966 World Cup winning squad but was unfortunately overshadowed by West Ham forward, Sir Geoff Hurst who scored a hat trick in the 4-2 victory over West Germany at Wembley. He makes my list as he was the main catalyst in Shankly’s successful experiment to make Liverpool the greatest club in English football and he paved the way for many other legends to follow. One of the club’s first legends and in my opinion, the 3rd greatest attacker in the club’s history.
2. Ian Rush (1980-1987 + 1988-1996) – Appearances: 660, Goals: 346, Trophies: 19
Ian Rush is one of the club’s most decorated players ever, winning 19 trophies and still holding the crown as Liverpool’s top scorer, dethroning the great Roger Hunt. The boyhood Everton fan was snapped up for a record £300,000 fee for a teenager after legendary scout Geoff Twentyman recommended the young Welshmen to the club. Despite a disappointing 5th place finish in the league, Rush helped the Reds to a 3rd Champions League trophy in his debut season as an Alan Kennedy goal was enough to defeat giants Real Madrid in the 1981 Paris final. His first major claim to football stardom was his winner in the 1982 League Cup Final against Spurs and he won the PFA Young Player Of The Year award the following year, in Bob Paisley’s final season at the club, after contributing to a second successive league and league cup double. On 6 November 1982 Rush wrote himself in club folklore after scoring four in the 5-0 thrashing of fierce rivals Everton. A post war record. Liverpool would go on to win a unique treble the next year. The third consecutive League Cup was secured after a 2-1 win over Manchester United, Liverpool retained the league and the 4th Champions League trophy was brought home to Anfield after a penalty shootout win over AS Roma. After the Heysel disaster the following year, Liverpool were unable to compete in Europe. After a closely contested title race, where Kenny Dalglish secured the title in a 1-0 win over Chelsea, Rush scored a decisive goal in the 3-1 FA Cup win over Everton, securing the club’s only FA Cup and league double so far. A short unsuccessful stint at Juventus saw Rush return to Liverpool where he won the club’s final First Division title before the formation of the new commercialised Premier League in which Rush played in for Liverpool until 1996 when he left the club. Rush wasn’t particularly quick or strong but he had a clinical eye for goal, helping win a remarkable 19 trophies at the club during his stint. It takes someone quite special to beat him to the number 1 spot…
- Kenny Dalglish (1977-1990) – Appearances: 515, Goals: 172, Trophies: 33 (including stints as manager)
In my opinion, Kenny Dalglish is up there as being the club’s greatest player of all time; certainly the best of the 20th century. I only truly believe that Steven Gerrard can be put in the same category for what he achieved and gave to the club. A British record signing in 1977 at £400,000 when he signed from Celtic, Dalglish had big boots to fill; those of Kevin Keegan, who had helped the club to the League title and first ever Champions League trophy. He exceeded expectations as his elegant chip against Club Brugge in the 1978 Champions League final at Wembley saw the club lift consecutive Champions League titles for the first and only time in their history. The next season he recorded a career best of 21 league goals for the club, winning the FWA Footballer Of The Year Award. In 1981, after a disappointing First Division season, he helped the club to a 3rd Champions League title in 5 seasons. It was soon after that he created an infamous partnership with Ian Rush, reminiscent of the earlier generation of Keegan and Toshack, which saw the club retain the League title in Paisley’s last season in charge. Dalglish received the 1983 PFA Players’ Player Of The Year Award. As he began to age, his goals decreased but he became an even more influential club player and he won his 3rd Champions League title in 1984. He took up the role as player-manager in 1985 after Fagan’s resignation following the Heysel disaster and helped the club win the league with his crucial winner against Chelsea. As he brought in new acquisitions he stopped playing, but made his final appearance for the club on the last day of the 1989/90 season after the league was secured; The club’s last until 30 years later! He was voted as the greatest post-war British striker by FourFourTwo among many honours after his retirement and he has an omnipresent presence at the club. He is an icon. Therefore “King” Kenny Dalglish has to be number 1 in my list of the club’s top 5 goalscorer of all time.