Luis Diaz has become the latest player to take on the iconic number seven shirt at Liverpool, with the Colombian winger handing over the honor following the departure of James Milner.
The squad number has a storied history, with its association with Liverpool folklore due to former incumbents Kenny Dalglish and Kevin Keegan establishing its status as one of the most recognizable in the game.
The image of a white number seven on a red Liverpool shirt is one of the club’s most powerful images and recent years have seen a number of different players wear it with varying degrees of success.
Milner has left the shirt after eight years of play with the iconic number on his back, but has proven to be one of the shirt’s more deserving keepers, with some previous owners achieving little compared to the Yorkshireman.
Since 1993, when permanent squad numbers were introduced, seven players have been trusted to live up to the high expectations of wearing the jersey – here we look at how they fared and ranked their contributions to the club.
7. Robbie Keane
Robbie Keane’s career at Liverpool was one of the most short-lived in recent history, with the Irishman being brought in by Rafa Benitez in 2008 to act as a foil to Fernando Torres. The Reds were one of the leading teams in Europe at the time and as they have been a reliable goalscorer for Tottenham for the past six years, a lot was expected of Keane.
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However, the club’s youth fan never reached the heights expected, leaving after seven goals in 28 games in January 2009. The Reds suffered a loss of £7 million on his sale, with the striker never reaching the same heights as his early years. career in the coming years.
6. Nigel Clough
Signed by the Reds in 1993 following Nottingham Forest’s relegation from the top flight, Clough was an England international whose name carried a certain level of expectation.
Despite scoring twice on his debut, he played in a team going through a period of transition and was quickly usurped in the club’s pecking order by the rising talent of Robbie Fowler. A brace against Man United in a dramatic 3-3 draw was the pinnacle of his time at the club, with three seasons netting just seven league goals before a transfer to Man City in 1996.
Another player who arrived with a great reputation but never reached the heights expected, the former Leeds winger spent five seasons at Anfield between 2003 and 2008. His first season at Liverpool was promising, scoring seven goals in 2003/04 before injuries set in. on the Australian.
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He was a starter in the 2005 Champions League final but was withdrawn in the 23rd minute from injury before watching his teammates stage a legendary comeback from 3–0 down to hand Kewell a Champions League winners’ medal.
The Czech international, the man who replaced Kewell in Istanbul, was a useful striker in his time at Anfield. He scored the second goal in the final, with a sweet shot from outside the box to really make the Reds believe a historic comeback is possible.
Smicer wore the shirt between 1999 and 2003 and handed the seven shirt to Kewell on his arrival, but with his contribution in Istanbul and a role in the 2001 treble victory, he makes the Australian into this list.
A player who will be fondly remembered for his part in Liverpool’s transformation over the past eight years. When he arrived in 2015, the Reds were on a downward trajectory in the final days of Brendan Rodgers’ reign, with the arrival of Klopp sparking a change in fortunes.
Klopp was a big fan of Milner, with his versatility and work rate the veteran marked a reliable platform from which to achieve success. Milner took on a leadership role within an inexperienced side and led by example, with his technical ability also shining under Klopp.
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Purists will say he’s not a traditional number seven, with the shirt usually reserved for more natural attacking players. However, his contribution to the club is beyond dispute.
2. Steve McManaman
After the remarkable success of the 1980s, Liverpool had to rebuild in the early years of the Premier League, with limited trophy success. However, one of the shining lights of this era was McManaman, with the Bootle-born winger becoming a key offensive talent for the Reds, wearing the iconic number seven between 1996 and 1999.
His Liverpool career may not have been brilliant, but with 364 appearances he is the highest player on this list and those who have seen him in a red shirt will remember the creative talents that saw him win the PFA Team of the Year in 1996/97 became. .
A move to Real Madrid followed in 1999 and became a key player for Los Blancos as they won the Champions League in 2000 and 2002.
1. Luis Suarez
((Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images))
Arguably one of the club’s greatest ever players, despite only three years spent at Merseyside. Luis Suarez scored 82 goals in just 133 appearances in a Liverpool shirt, and his 31 Premier League goals in 2013/14 nearly led the club to the league title.
His pinnacle of his time at the club has been phenomenal, with certain achievements such as his spectacular four-goal haul against Norwich in December 2013 marking the Uruguayan as an all-time great. The endorsement of ‘King’ Kenny Dalglish separates him from the others in this list and cements a place in Anfield folklore as their greatest number seven of the Premier League era.
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