Ever since the introduction of squad numbers at the start of the 1993/94 season, some of these numbers have become synonymous with certain Anfield icons and legends. With the 25-man squad being the norm, we look at how a Liverpool first eleven (1 to 11) and overall squad (1 to 25) would look if we took the best of shirt numbers 1 to 25.
The choice of Liverpool’s best No.1 was really only between David James and Jerzy Dudek, and the latter takes it with his Istanbul heroics. Lining up ahead of him at right-back is Nathaniel Clyne – ahead of fellow dependable Alvaro Arbeloa – while across him wearing the No.6 shirt is John Arne Riise, ahead of Fabio Aurelio.
The traditional centre-back No.4 and 5 partnership of Sami Hyypia and Daniel Agger completes a sturdy backline. With previous Liverpool No.3s having limited quality aside from one exception, it could only be Steve Finnan, but at right midfield – the role he played during Rafa Benitez’s first season.
played together for two years; both should’ve stayed for a year or two more
In central midfield, the No.8 jersey could only have gone to club legend, and captain for this team, Steven Gerrard. Alongside him in the No.11 jersey is fellow Englishman Jamie Redknapp. On the left side of midfield in the No.10 jersey was a toss up between current talisman Philippe Coutinho and former Anfield favourite Luis Garcia. The Brazilian just edges it with his greater consistency.
And leading from the front, wearing the No.7 shirt could only be Luis Suarez, together with Fernando Torres in the No.9 jersey – in what could have, unfortunately, been a real life partnership, had Torres not left in the same transfer window as Suarez’s arrival. This potentially tantalising partnership which would have happened in another universe is the only reason why club legends Ian Rush and Robbie Fowler – incidentally Torres’s predecessor for the No.9 jersey – were left out.
On the Bench
With 7 substitutes permitted in the Premier League, the best of shirt numbers 12 to 18 would take their places on this bench. Back-up to Dudek would be David James in his No.13 jersey. Though he’s only just started his Anfield career, Joe Gomez takes his place ahead of Fabio Aurelio with his No.12 shirt due to his ability to play both right- and left-back. Providing back up for Agger and Hyypia is the former’s ex-teammate Mamadou Sakho is the back-up centre-back option at No.17.
The midfield options are formidable with Xabi Alonso and Dietmar Hamann as the Reds’ No.14 and 16 respectively, with current skipper Jordan Henderson missing out due to Alonso’s superior quality.
hamann (front) and alonso (background) helped turn the tide in the 2005 ucl final
Forward options include current No.15 hitman Daniel Sturridge and Anfield’s favourite workhorse Dirk Kuyt in his iconic No.18 shirt.
The Reds would have a formidable reserve (19 to 25), with many of Liverpool’s best players taking higher numbers currently and in the past.
Some offensive options in reserve are current stars Sadio Mane and Adam Lallana – No.19 and 20 respectively – as well as former veteran star Gary McAllister at No.21, just ahead of loyal servant Lucas Leiva.
With Pepe Reina the third-choice goalkeeper in this team as the No.25, left-back Emiliano Insua is picked ahead of current goalkeeper Simon Mignolet at No.22. Reds legend Jamie Carragher had to take the No.23 – current jersey incumbent Emre Can would need to have a splendid career at Anfield to surpass the former vice-captain. Joe Allen takes the last spot at No.24, ahead of Danny Murphy as the Englishman is better known in the No.13 jersey.
Here’s a possible second XI, chosen from No.12 to 25:
Liverpool Squad —
1 Dudek, 13 James, 25 Reina
2 Clyne, 12 Gomez, 4 Hyypia, 23 Carragher, 5 Agger, 17 Sakho, 6 Riise, 22 Insua
3 Finnan, 19 Mane, 8 Gerrard, 11 Redknapp, 16 Hamann, 14 Alonso, 21 McAllister, 24 Allen, 10 Coutinho, 20 Lallana
7 Suarez, 9 Torres, 15 Sturridge, 18 Kuyt
Now imagine what a squad like that could do in the Premier League!
Do you agree with this squad? Who should have been included instead? Tell us below!