Ranked! Liverpool’s top 10 strikers of the Premier League era
Liverpool’s ever-present run in the Premier League has been bookended by a clear stylistic blueprint: formidable at the front, brittle at the back.
From the days of Roy Evans’ Spice Boys to Jurgen Klopp’s current incarnation, the Reds have been spoiled for choice up front, but clearly flawed in defence – and more often than not, their attacking quality has papered over the cracks.
That’s not to say every centre-forward to walk through the Shankly Gates has been top-class, with Anthony Le Tallec, David N’Gog, Andriy Voronin, Iago Aspas, Fabio Borini, Andy Carroll and even Mario Balotelli working against type at Anfield.
But Liverpool have certainly been blessed with talent in front of goal since the new English top flight was given its rebranding in 1992. Here are the 10 best strikers to grace the red half of Merseyside in the Premier League era, including two goalscorers currently firing for Klopp.
10. Mohamed Salah
22 PL goals in 26 games for Liverpool
Salah may have only joined Liverpool from Roma in 2017, but the impact the winger-cum-striker has made since completing his £36.9m switch has been phenomenal, as well as record-breaking.
Just seven months after returning to England, Salah broke the 20-goal mark in the league, becoming the fastest Liverpool player to do so since Fred Pagnam in 1915 - eclipsing Daniel Sturridge and Fernando Torres, who both scored 20 in 27 Premier League games.
His pace, movement and relentless tenacity make him a devastating option in the final third, and while he is - paradoxically - far from the most clinical, few defences are able to quell his drive. The Egyptian King also has the best chant of any Liverpool player since Maxi Rodriguez.
9. Emile Heskey
39 PL goals in 150 games for Liverpool
A victim of a warped reputation, Heskey deserves to be considered one of the great strikers of the Premier League era, with his four-year stint with Liverpool seeing him continue the form that made the Reds shell out a then club-record £11m to bring him to Anfield from Leicester in 2000.
Heskey scored 60 goals in 223 appearances overall, making him the 40th highest goalscorer in the club’s history, but it was the hulking centre-forward’s all-round play that ensures his place in our top 10.
An archetypal target man, Heskey was the ideal foil for Michael Owen, and it was his selfless work that provided the backbone to his strike partner’s surge to the Ballon d’Or in 2001. Liverpool won an FA Cup, League Cup and UEFA Cup treble under Gerard Houllier that season, and Heskey was a key weapon in the Frenchman’s arsenal.
8. Dirk Kuyt
51 PL goals in 208 games for Liverpool
Kuyt was not always deployed as a striker for Liverpool, owing to the devastating presence of Fernando Torres, but his role as a goalscoring wide-forward earns him a place in our ranking.
A tireless threat on and off the ball, the Dutchman won the hearts of the Kop with his industrious displays on the right flank, and when he was called upon up front he invariably shone. Only 30 players have scored more goals for Liverpool in the club’s history, with Kuyt netting 71 times in 285 games, while his contribution in big-game situations was near unparalleled.
Ushered out as Brendan Rodgers oversaw a changing of the guard in 2012, it can certainly be argued that Kuyt was allowed to leave Anfield too soon. His title-winning swan song with Feyenoord in 2016/17 secured his icon status with not one but two clubs.
7. Daniel Sturridge
48 PL goals in 98 games for Liverpool
It's unlikely Sturridge will ever be given the recognition he deserves for his performances for Liverpool, with his injury-plagued run at Anfield souring supporters’ views.
But for his immediate impact on joining from Chelsea at the start of 2013, and his healthy scoring rivalry with Luis Suarez in the ill-fated title charge under Rodgers the following season, Sturridge deserves to be considered among the clubs’ greatest strikers in the Premier League era.
Combining exceptional raw talent with a refined intelligence, Sturridge was starved of opportunities at Stamford Bridge. But given the freedom of the final third at Anfield, he thrived.
Sixty-three goals in 133 games is a phenomenal tally, and his strike in the Europa League final defeat to Sevilla in 2015 was one of pure, unadulterated genius.