Every Liverpool player to score on their debut since 2000 – & what they did next

Quick Reads

Liverpool have been blessed with some stellar goalscorers over the past 20 years, many of which started as they meant to go on. 

Robbie Fowler, Stan Collymore and Michael Owen all memorably scored on their debuts for the Reds in the 90s and that trend continued into the noughties and beyond with some famous names notching in their first games. But it doesn’t always guarantee future success.

Here’s every Liverpool player to score on their competitive debut since 2000.

Abel Xavier

A striking figure from day one, thanks in part due his dyed blonde hair and beard, not to mention him becoming only the fourth player in history to cross the Stanley Park divide and sign directly from Everton.

And he got off to a good start when he opened the scoring in a 6-0 rout over Ipswich, a win that took Liverpool to the top of the Premier League table in February 2002.

Xavier converted to Islam and retired at the age of 37 following a spell with LA Galaxy before going on to manage the country of his birth, Mozambique, between 2016 and 2019.

Craig Bellamy

Liverpool’s run to the Champions League final in 2006-07 started with an early August qualifier against Israel champions Maccabi Haifa.

The first leg didn’t get off to an ideal start when Maccabi opened the scoring with an away goal in the first leg, but Craig Bellamy soon settled the nerves with an equaliser four minutes later.

That was the first act of a controversial one-season spell best remembered for an incident involving a golf club and John-Arne Riise, before he returned for another brief spell under Kenny Dalglish in the 2011-12 season.

Mark Gonzalez

Liverpool went over four years without a debutant getting on the scoresheet, and then it happened twice in the same game.

Chilean midfielder Mark Gonzalez came off the bench to score the winner against Maccabi late on, the decisive goal over the two legs, but he’d do little more, going out on loan to Real Sociedad for the second half of the season before being sold to Real Betis the following summer.

Gabriel Paletta

Gabriel Paletta scored Liverpool’s third in a 4-3 win over Reading in the League Cup, but it was something of a false dawn following his transatlantic move from Banfield. Only seven further appearances would follow before a return to Argentina – Boca Juniors – the following summer.

He’d return to Europe later on, becoming a fan favourite at Parma and AC Milan.

Luis Suarez

Everyone was still reeling from the decision to reinvest most of the Fernando Torres money on Andy Carroll when Luis Suarez quickly went about his business after joining from Ajax, scoring on his Premier League debut, a 2-0 win over Stoke.

The Uruguayan took some time to fully adapt and become the world-beater that dragged Liverpool to their ill-fated 2014 title challenge, but he was more than handy from day one.

Andre Wisdom

There was hope that Andre Wisdom could become a Liverpool regular after breaking through from the youth team, scoring in 5-3 win over Young Boys in first senior appearance in the Europa League.

Things never quite worked out that way; he’d only make a total of 22 appearances for the Reds and after four loans in four years, he signed for Derby County in 2017.

Daniel Sturridge

It was only in a scrappy FA Cup third-round 2-1 win at Mansfield, but scoring after eight minutes with a Thierry Henry-esque run and finish set the tone for the best individual period of Sturridge’s career following his move from Chelsea midway through the 2012-13 season.

Sturridge scored 35 goals in his first 49 appearances for the club, but injury issues and a drop in form saw him become a peripheral figure over the next five years at Anfield.

He’s currently serving a four-month ban from football after breaching betting rules, seeing his contract terminated with Trabzonspor during their challenge for the Turkish Super Lig title.

Victor Moses

Raheem Sterling’s rapid rise gave Victor Moses few opportunities in a season-long loan from Chelsea, but he did manage a goal on his debut, a 2-2 draw with Swansea.

He subsequently became a Premier League winner, looking at home for Chelsea as a wingback in Antonio Conte’s 3-5-2, but he’s since dropped down the pecking order and is now working with the former Blues boss again on loan at Inter.

Jordan Rossiter

Local lad Jordan Rossiter lived the dream with a goal on his debut. That is, if you dream of scoring in a League Cup 2-2 draw with Middlesbrough.

He’d only make four further appearances before signing for Rangers in 2016. He is still on their books but out on loan at Fleetwood Town.

Sadio Mane

The Senegalese signing from Southampton scored Liverpool’s fourth in one of the great opening weekend games – an unforgettable 4-3 win away to Arsenal. He’s since scored 76 more.

Mohamed Salah

Yeah, he’s done alright since.

READ: How Salah’s record after 100 PL games for LFC compares to other PL greats

Virgil Van Dijk

Starting as he meant to go on, Van Dijk towered above everyone else to score the match-winner in a 2-1 win over Everton in the FA Cup.

A debut worthy of a Liverpool career that already includes the Champions League, PFA Player Of The Season award and – surely, surely – that long-awaited Premier League title.


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