Liverpool’s No.9 shirt has a proud history, having been worn by some of the club’s greatest-ever goalscorers.
But it has also been worn by some absolute shitbags – or at least one in particular – so it isn’t all fond memories.
With Darwin Nunez inheriting the shirt for the 2023-24 seasons, we’ve ranked every previous player to wear the No.9 shirt for Liverpool in the Premier League era from worst to best.
11. El-Hadji Diouf
We really don’t have to explain this one, do we?
10. Iago Aspas
A lovely footballer, but he just didn’t show it at Anfield. Still, he’s not a dickhead, so he gets in ahead of Diouf.
9. Rickie Lambert
“I can’t believe it. I’ve loved this club all my life. I left here 17 years ago and I haven’t stopped loving it since.”
Lambert finally getting the chance to join his boyhood club at the age of 32 having spent the majority of his career in League One and Two was a heartwarming story.
It was probably a bit unnecessary, admittedly, but he did score twice in the Premier League – two more than Aspas.
8. Christian Benteke
Benteke’s sharp decline in form is one of the Premier League’s biggest mysteries in recent years.
Perhaps he just needs to watch his overhead kick at Old Trafford on repeat for a few weeks.
An incredible bicycle kick 🚲
See how Christian Benteke stunned Old Trafford into silence from every angle pic.twitter.com/I9j01GT20K
— Premier League (@premierleague) October 14, 2021
7. Andy Carroll
For a player that arrived in a helicopter for a British record £35million fee, Liverpool probably expected more than 11 goals in 58 appearances from Carroll.
But the striker did win the League Cup, scored a late winner in the FA Cup semi-final victory over Everton and also bagged in the final defeat to Chelsea.
“For me, that goal alone was worth £35million,” Carragher said of Carroll’s winner against Everton.
6. Djibril Cisse
Were it not for his horrific leg break, Cisse’s Liverpool career could have been so much more memorable.
But he still left Anfield having converted his penalty in the shootout victory over AC Milan in the Champions League final – after making a ridiculously quick recovery – and scored in the FA Cup final win over West Ham the following year.
5. Nicolas Anelka
Anelka spent just half a season on loan at Liverpool from PSG, but while he only scored five times in all competitions, he played a crucial role in the Reds’ surge to second place.
A title charge was on the cards for the following season, but Gerard Houllier opted not to sign Anelka permanently because he had an ace up his sleeve: El-Hadji Diouf.
4. Ian Rush
As Liverpool’s greatest-ever goalscorer, were this ranking not just the Premier League era, Rush would surely top the list.
However, his best work was done prior to the inception of the Premier League, although he still managed 45 goals in the competition for the Reds – more than every other player on this list bar the top three.
3. Roberto Firmino
We found it almost impossible to decide what order the top three should go in, and you could easily make the argument for Firmino at No.1.
The Brazilian has always been the least heralded of the front three he formed with Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah and nowadays he’s not a guaranteed starter at Anfield.
But he was genuinely brilliant at his peak – as 27 goals and 17 assists in 2017-18 attests – and he’s won the lot with Liverpool.
2. Fernando Torres
Torres can legitimately claim to be one of the greatest No.9s the Premier League has witnessed.
The way he regularly tormented Nemanja Vidic and Manchester United earns him extra points, but his failure to win a trophy and lack of longevity on Merseyside means the Spaniard has to settle for second.
1. Robbie Fowler
God. Liverpool fans call him God FFS. It doesn’t really get any better than that.
It perhaps gets slightly forgotten how frighteningly good Fowler was when he burst onto the scene at Liverpool, scoring 116 goals in 188 games in all competitions in his first four seasons at the club.
We still watch his YouTube compilations to make us feel better when we’re ill or hungover, which might be an even better compliment for a striker than being called God.