With success following them at almost every turn, Liverpool have been indebted to the impact of a number of new arrivals over the years.

John Barnes

One of the most skillful and graceful footballers ever to wear the famous Red shirt, Barnes was already a fine player when arriving from Watford for £900,000, but became a genuine superstar on Merseyside.

A key part of perhaps the most exciting Liverpool team of all-time in 1987-88, he went on to score 108 goals in 407 appearances, converting successfully from a flying left winger into a majestic, controlling central midfield player in the mid-1990s.

He won two league titles, an FA Cup and a League Cup, and was named Footballer of the Year on two occasions.

Sadio Mane

The first big signing of the Jurgen Klopp era, and boy did it pay off.

Mane was not exactly an obvious pick when moving from Southampton for £35 million, but it didn’t take long for fans – and Klopp – to fall in love with the Senegalese star.

He scored on his debut at Arsenal, netted the winner at Goodison Park in his first Merseyside derby and ended his maiden campaign at Anfield as the club’s Player of the Year.

He switched wings following the arrival of Mohamed Salah, but his performances simply got better. A European, World and Premier League champion, as well as the key man as Senegal won their first ever Africa Cup of Nations in 2022, Mane deserves to go down as one of the all-time greats – for club and for country.

Alan Hansen

A man who played a central role in Liverpool’s dominance of the 1970s and 80s, Hansen was a centre-back ahead of his time, a ball-player and a reader of the game, blessed with a magnificent turn of pace.

In the 14 years that followed his £100,000 arrival from Partick Thistle, he won everything there was to win, including eight league titles and three European Cups.

His partnerships with the likes of Phil Thompson and, in particular, Mark Lawrenson, are among the greatest in English football history, and he remains the figure against which all Reds centre-halves are judged. An incredible footballer.

Virgil van Dijk

At £75 million, the most expensive signing in Liverpool’s history, but also one of the very best.

Van Dijk transformed the Reds following his arrival midway through the 2017-18 season, turning Jurgen Klopp’s side from a thrilling-but-brittle outfit into one of the meanest and most complete in Europe.

He won the Champions League in his first full season, picking up the PFA Player of the Year award for good measure, and was a central figure as Liverpool ended their 30-year wait for a league title in 2020.

Was runner-up to Lionel Messi in the 2019 Ballon d’Or, which for a centre-back is some achievement. Reds fans will hope there are many more years to come from the Dutchman.

Graeme Souness

Younger readers will know him as a no-nonsense television pundit, but at Liverpool, Souness was perhaps the best all-round midfielder in world football, a player of silk and steel, a leader of men and the driving force behind perhaps the greatest team the club has ever seen.

In six full seasons on Merseyside following his £352,000 arrival from Middlesbrough, he won five league titles, including three in a row between 1982 and 1984, four League Cups and three European Cups, the third of which was as captain.

He made 359 appearances, scoring 59 goals, and though his return to the club as manager in 1991 ended in disappointment, his exploits as a player ensure his legacy will always remain.

Phil Neal

Bob Paisley’s first signing as Liverpool manager, and he didn’t make many better than the £66,000 man from Northampton Town.

Neal is the most decorated player in the club’s history, having won eight league titles, four European Cups, four League Cups and a UEFA Cup during a glorious, 12-year spell.

Never injured, and a prolific penalty-taker, he made more than 650 appearances and scored 59 goals from right-back – including strikes in two European Cup finals – captaining the club towards the end of his career. One of the greats.

Ray Clemence

The benchmark, when it comes to Liverpool goalkeepers.

A complete unknown when signed by Bill Shankly from lowly Scunthorpe for £18,000 in 1967, Clemence went on to make 665 appearances for Liverpool, winning 13 major honours in the process, including five league championships, three European Cups and two UEFA Cups.

The unsung hero behind so many of Anfield’s great nights, Clemence represents perhaps the greatest bargain in Reds history.

Only Alisson Becker, the current custodian, has come close to matching his influence since.

  • Mohamed Salah

    Written off by some as a ‘Chelsea reject’, following a short, unhappy spell at Stamford Bridge, Salah returned to England in a £36 million move in 2017 determined to prove his doubters wrong.

    Job done, you’d have to say.

    His first season at Liverpool was incredible, bringing 44 goals in all competitions and 32 in the Premier League – a record in a 38-game season. The following season, 2018-19, he became a Champions League winner, and followed that up by adding the European Super Cup, Club World Cup and, in 2020, the Premier League.

    His record at Anfield is staggering; 156 goals in 254 appearances, placing him ninth on the Reds’ all-time list.

    He has three Premier League Golden Boots, two Footballer of the Year awards and two PFA Player of the Year trophies for good measure.

    He’s the Egyptian King, and the Reds’ best signing of the Premier League era.

    Ian Rush

    The greatest goalscorer in Liverpool history, Rush was an unknown 18-year-old when he was plucked from Third Division side Chester City for £300,000, and took a while to find his feet on Merseyside.

    When he did, however, the results were spectacular.

    He scored 207 goals in six-and-a-half seasons between 1981 and 1987 before, after a difficult year in Italy with Juventus, returning to net a further 139.

    He won five league titles, five league cups, three FA Cups and a European Cup. He won both the PFA Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year award, was named Footballer of the Year and won the European Golden Boot, and is the highest goalscorer in Merseyside derby history.

    An Anfield legend, and then some.

    Kenny Dalglish

    When Kevin Keegan announced he would be leaving the Reds for Hamburg, many fans wondered how Bob Paisley’s side would cope.

    But Dalglish would fill the void and then some. He would in fact go on to become the greatest player in Liverpool’s modern history.

    He scored 172 goals in 515 appearances before, in two separate spells as manager, leading the club to six major honours, including their first ever league and cup double in 1986.

    Known affectionately as ‘King Kenny’, he has a stand named after him at Anfield and in 2018 was knighted for “services to football, charity, and the city of Liverpool”.

    His leadership and compassion following the Hillsborough disaster in 1989 will never be forgotten by supporters.

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