When you think of Liverpool number nines, your mind tends to automatically go to the greats of the past – the likes of Ian Rush and Ian St John. So the natural assumption is that this trend of world-class number nines continued into the Premier League era. That was not necessarily the case, however.
With the exception of a few greats, the shirt number has been somewhat of a plague since the top flight became the Premier League. Now safely in the hands of Roberto Firmino, a player some may describe as a unique striker in Liverpool’s history of forwards, the number wasn’t always with a top player.
Some Liverpool fans may want to skip to the later stages of this list, and avoid a horrible reminder of those who didn’t exactly have the best of times wearing the number nine jersey at Anfield.
As revealed by TransferMarkt, here is every Liverpool number nine in the Premier League era ranked by the goals they scored in the top flight.
Iago Aspas – 0 goals
Paul Stewart – 1 goal
Michael Thomas – 1 goal
Rickie Lambert – 2 goals
El-Hadji Diouf – 3 goals
Nicolas Anelka – 4 goals
Ronny Rosenthal – 6 goals
Andy Carroll – 6 goals
Don Hutchison – 7 goals
Christian Benteke – 9 goals
Djibril Cissé – 13 goals
Roberto Firmino – 61 goals
Fernando Torres – 65 goals
Robbie Fowler – 85 goals
Try to focus on Robbie Fowler, Firmino and Fernando Torres in the above list. You’ll have a far better time reminiscing about those three than Rickie Lambert, Iago Aspas, and Andy Carroll!
Before Firmino came along and saved the pride of the shirt, the number nine was passed from blunt striker to blunt striker, like some kind of decaying hand-me-down. Under Brendan Rodgers, the shirt went from Aspas to Lambert, before finding Christian Benteke. Those three combined managed a grand total of 11 goals.
With Firmino’s contract reaching an end next summer, Jurgen Klopp could be left with the task of finding a new number nine and replacing the Brazilian.
As of right now, the only candidate for the number that springs to mind is Diogo Jota. The former Wolverhampton Wanderers man netted 21 goals in all competitions last season, and more than proved that he is worthy of such a historic number. Let’s not forget new signing Darwin Nunez, either.
Of course, the Reds could look to the transfer market when seeking a Firmino replacement. They’ve built a reputation for getting it right when splashing the cash over the years, and this could turn out to be yet another prime example of their wise manoeuvres in the market.
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