Ranking the 23 Liverpool forwards signed under FSG from worst to best

Quick Reads

Liverpool have signed some sensational forwards over the last decade, but which of them deserves to be ranked highest?

The overall picture is more mixed – for every Mo Salah, there’s been a Christian Benteke. For definitive proof, remember that Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll were signed on the same day. Liverpool have had to kiss plenty of frogs to find their princes.

We’ve ranked every forward player signed by Liverpool since they were taken over by FSG in October 2010, from worst to best.

23. Mario Balotelli

A disaster. Signed to replace Luis Suarez in 2014, the maverick Italian scored just four goals for Liverpool and is best remembered for swapping shirts at half-time during a Champions League defeat to Real Madrid.

In fairness, it’s hard to imagine Brendan Rodgers’ legendary PowerPoint presentations making much impact on Balotelli. An ill-advised transfer for all parties.

22. Samir Yesil

Who? Two League Cup appearances, a host of injury problems and being quietly released after three seasons do not constitute high ranking material here.

21. Christian Benteke

Having impressed at Aston Villa, Benteke was purchased for £32.5million in 2015. It made some sense at the time, but the Belgian never looked likely to fill the Suarez-void and became visibly less confident by the week.

Benteke did score a sensational acrobatic goal at Old Trafford, but even that was overshadowed by Anthony Martial’s debut goal for United and Martin Tyler’s subsequent goalgasm.

A harsh ranking maybe, but he could have delivered more.

20. Luis Alberto

The opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of memorable is Luis Alberto’s time at Liverpool.

Signed from Sevilla for £6.8million in the summer of 2013, the Spanish attacking midfielder made nine appearances during Brendan Rodgers’ doomed title challenge without ever threatening to find the net.

He was loaned to Malaga and Deportivo La Coruna before being offloaded to Lazio in 2016, where he has managed to rediscover the form that convinced Liverpool to sign him in the first place, even winning a cap for Spain.

19. Oussama Assaidi

Upon joining the club in 2012, Rodgers described Assaidi as “an exciting player…that will excite the crowd”. Once again, Rodgers had his finger emphatically off the pulse.

Assaidi wasn’t necessarily a bad player, but his arrival at the club was overshadowed by the emergence of Raheem Sterling, meaning first-team opportunities were limited.

After one season at Anfield, the winger joined Mark Hughes’ Stokealona experiment.

18. Andy Carroll

Yes, Carroll is a delightful throwback to English forwards of yesteryear. Yes, Carroll’s galloping running style and glossy mane invite horse metaphors that are heavenly to football writers. Ultimately, he is a very hard player to hate.

However, let’s remind ourselves Caroll cost £35million in 2011. Come the end of the season, Manchester City spent the same amount to sign Sergio Fuckin’Aguero. This makes his ranking easier to understand.

17. Rickie Lambert

Andy Carroll-lite.

16. Dominic Solanke

Solanke was another striker signed for his potential and struggled to deliver upon it.

A member of England’s victorious 2017 U20 World Cup squad, his move from Chelsea for a nominal fee seemed like a coup. Eighteen months and one goal later, Solanke had left Anfield for Bournemouth, where he continues to teeter on the cusp of effectiveness.

Still, no real harm done, plus a healthy profit, which places him higher than others on this list.

15. Iago Aspas

Don’t mention that corner. Don’t mention that corner. Don’t mention that corner.

READ: Steven Gerrard has more in common with Iago Aspas than he realises

14. Fabio Borini

Our main memories of Borini in English football centre around his time at Sunderland, scoring the winning penalty at Stamford Bridge and spearheading another gravity-defying escape from relegation.

His time at Liverpool sticks less prominently in the brain, apart from the time he was sent off for a challenge that ripped Santi Cazorla’s shirt open.

Quite frankly, that one moment is enough to rank him this highly.

13. Takumi Minamino

It’s safe to say the jury’s still out on Minamino.

After impressing for Salzburg against Liverpool in the Champions League, Jurgen Klopp bought the forward for a bargain £7.25million in January 2020.

It’s a hard task for anybody to break into that front three, but Diogo Jota – more on him later – has proved it’s possible.

Still, Minamino has demonstrated flashes of quality and plenty of Klopp signings have blossomed after low-key beginnings.

12. Harvey Elliott

The 17-year-old has only made nine first-team appearances for Liverpool but is already getting fans very excited.

That has only been helped by his time on loan at Blackburn Rovers, in which the winger has already got a goal and four assists, making things look far too easy.

READ: Liverpool’s Harvey Elliott has fans raving after goal & assist for Blackburn

11. Danny Ings

The striker struggled with injuries while at Liverpool, but you only have to look at how the 28-year-old has performed at Southampton to get an insight into how quality he can be.

Ings’ best moment in a Liverpool shirt was undoubtedly his header to open the scoring in a draw against Everton – it’s still heartbreaking that his body prevented him from building upon that.

10. Craig Bellamy

During his second spell with Liverpool, Bellamy had a knack of scoring winning goals against his former clubs.
There was a brace to secure a victory over Newcastle United, but his biggest goal was undoubtedly the finish that got Kenny Dalglish’s side to the League Cup final, which they won on penalties against Cardiff City.

9. Xherdan Shaqiri

The Switzerland international may not get that much game time, but Shaqiri has come up with some moments of true beauty in a Liverpool shirt.

Anyone that comes off the bench to score twice against Manchester United has to rank highly in this.

8. Diogo Jota

There were questions around whether Liverpool should have signed Jota for the £45m fee they paid, but they have been answered pretty quickly.

Klopp now has a real headache about whether to pick the Portuguese forward or Roberto Firmino, which says all you need to know about the new man’s early impact.

7. Divok Origi

The Belgian may not get on the pitch that often these days, but Jurgen Klopp called the striker a “Liverpool legend” during a press conference in November 2019 – and it’s easy to see why.

That goal against Barcelona, that goal against Everton, that goal in the Champions League Fuckin’ Final – quite frankly, we were tempted to put him top.

6. Daniel Sturridge

It would be easy to remember Sturridge for the injuries that have impacted his career, but the impact he had on the pitch needs to be recognised.

Having said that, his trademark celebration undoubtedly inspired plenty of dodging dancing in the nightclubs of Merseyside.

5. Phillipe Coutinho

He left acrimoniously, but Coutinho was superb on his day.

The man was an absolute magician and had the quality to single-handedly win games for Liverpool. It’s mad to think that he didn’t win a trophy with the club, but it’s hard to argue with a player you signed for £8.5million and sold for around £142million.

4. Roberto Firmino

In 2019, Virgil van Dijk told talkSPORT that Firmino is the best player he has ever played with, while Andy Robertson said Liverpool would be “lost without him”.

That says all you need to know about the Brazilian’s impact.

READ: Roberto Firmino isn’t Liverpool’s false nine, he’s their perfect nine

3. Sadio Mane

The guy has the ultimate winner’s mentality. When that is mixed with his ability on the ball and in front of goal, that makes a scary proposition for opponents.

He’s already got 86 goals, 37 assists and four trophies at Liverpool. Don’t be surprised if the 28-year-old adds a lot more to those tallies.

2. Luis Suarez

Getting 82 goals and 47 assists in 133 games is, quite frankly, stupid. For all the brilliance Liverpool have enjoyed under Jurgen Klopp, only Salah has come close to posting an individual season as impressive of Suarez’s almost single-handed assault on the title in 2013-14.

While Suarez only left Anfield with a League Cup trophy to his name, the Uruguayan will have the adoration of most Liverpool fans forever after everything he gave the club. John Ruddy possibly has less affection for the forward.

Luis Suarez

READ: Celebrating peak 13-14 Liverpool when Luis Suarez scored an 18-yard header

1. Mohamed Salah

Death, taxes and Salah scoring goals; they’re all inevitable. Sorry, Suarez, but you can’t knock success, and Salah has the trophy cabinet and accolades to earn his place at the top of this list.

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