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Rating every Liverpool number 10 of the Premier League era

Alexis Mac Allister has been handed the number ten shirt at Liverpool after becoming the club’s first signing of the summer transfer window.

Liverpool recently completed the signing of the midfielder for an initial fee of £35m, following a superb season saw that Mac Allister impress as Brighton secured European football for the first time and win the World Cup in Qatar with Argentina.

The 24-year-old will now form part of Liverpool’s midfield rebuild and has been handed a shirt number that has previously been worn by some illustrious names.

Rating every Liverpool number 10 of the Premier League era.

John Barnes

John Barnes wore the ten shirt at Liverpool as the Premier League era began, with the winger already cemented as a club legend before the dawn of the new division.

Barnes signed for Liverpool from Watford in the late eighties and went on to become one of the club’s all-time greats.

The England international signed for a Liverpool side already regarded as one of the best in the country and made them even better, forming part of a scintillating forward line alongside Peter Beardsley and John Aldridge as the Reds won the First Division title in 1988.

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Full of pace, power, technique and skill, Barnes won a second league title in 1990 and a host of individual accolades, including a PFA Players’ Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year double in 1987/88 and a second FWA award in 1990.

Barnes’ best was behind him when the Premier League began, but he spent five seasons with the Reds in the newly-launched league and offered an experienced presence to aid the development of an emerging crop that included Steve McManaman, Jamie Redknapp and Robbie Fowler.

Rating: 10/10 – A Liverpool legend, even if the Premier League was past his peak

Michael Owen

Michael Owen burst onto the scene at Liverpool as a teenager with the forward fast emerging as England’s most exciting talent.

Owen’s first full season saw him win the Premier League’s Golden Boot, before starring for England at the 1998 World Cup – including that goal against Argentina – to announce his arrival as a star.

Owen retained the Premier League’s Golden Boot the following season and remains the only teenager to have won the accolade, with the forward electric during his early seasons at Anfield. Owen’s scintillating speed – perhaps too quick for even his own hamstrings – terrified defenders and complimented a remarkable composure to his finishing.

He scored 158 goals in 297 appearances for Liverpool and was crucial to the Reds’ success under Gerard Houllier. Owen was named as winner of the Ballon d’Or after inspiring Liverpool to an FA Cup, League Cup and UEFA Cup treble in 2000/01 and remains the most recent English recipient of the accolade.

Rating: 9/10 – A move to Manchester United somewhat soured his reputation at Liverpool, but Owen’s best made him the most exciting young talent in the game.

Luis Garcia

Rafael Benitez’s arrival as Liverpool manager kickstarted a Spanish revolution on Merseyside, with Luis Garcia brought in during his compatriot’s first window in charge.

Benitez had worked alongside Garcia at Tenerife and signed the Spanish schemer in a £6m deal, a transfer that proved brilliant value as the forward excelled at Anfield.

Garcia was crucial during Liverpool’s run to Champions League success in 2004/05, with vital goals against Bayer Leverkusen, Juventus and Chelsea in the knockout rounds guiding the Reds into the final.

Garcia scored 30 goals in 122 appearances for Liverpool across four seasons and often saved his best for the big occasion.

Rating: 8/10 – Occasionally frustrating, but often fantastic. Some memorable match-winning moments.

Andriy Voronin

Liverpool’s recruitment team looked to have secured some shrewd business after completing the signing of Andriy Voronin from Bayer Leverkusen.

The Ukraine international had scored 32 goals in 92 league appearances for the Bundesliga side and arrived on a free transfer after his contract with Leverkusen expired. Rafael Benitez had praised the intelligence of Voronin, but the forward failed to make an impact as Fernando Torres – signed in the same summer – made a stunning impact at Liverpool.

Voronin scored just six goals in 40 appearances in all competitions.

Rating: 2/10 – Never judge a player off YouTube clips.

Joe Cole

Joe Cole was another free transfer capture who got fans excited, only to underwhelm during a disappointing spell at Liverpool.

Cole had won three Premier League titles during a decorated career at Chelsea, before departing for Liverpool after falling out of favour.

His career with the club began in nightmare fashion, as the England midfielder was sent off during Liverpool’s opening Premier League game of the season against Arsenal, and his fortunes failed to improve. A change of ownership, manager and injury issues all contributed to Cole’s struggle to make an impact.

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He was loaned to Lille for the 2011/12 season and later rejoined former side West Ham on a free transfer.

Rating: 3/10 – Plenty of hype, but a shadow of his old self.

Philippe Coutinho

Philippe Coutinho proved to be one of Liverpool’s best investments of the Premier League era, after Brendan Rodgers agreed an £8.5m deal for the midfielder from Inter Milan.

Coutinho had endured a frustrating period in Italy, but developed into a crucial cog at Liverpool. He was excellent under Rodgers before becoming the centre-piece of Jurgen Klopp’s side, with the Brazilian twice named as Liverpool Players’ Player of the Season and developing a welcome habit of scoring spectacular goals.

Coutinho’s close control and ability to drift past defenders made him one of the most watchable talents in the Premier League, during a career with the club that saw him score 41 goals and provide 31 assists across five seasons.

He departed to sign for Barcelona in January 2018 and earned Liverpool a club-record sale of £142m.

Rating: 8/10 – Some special moments.

Sadio Mane

Sadio Mane ranks as one of the most transformative signings in Liverpool’s modern history, with the Senegal international arguably the first piece in Jurgen Klopp’s successful side.

Signed from Southampton, Mane was named as Liverpool Players’ Player of the Season after leading the club to Champions League qualification in his debut season, an achievement which set the foundations on which Klopp has since built.

The arrival of Mohamed Salah then saw Mane form an iconic front three alongside the Egyptian and Roberto Firmino, a forward line who tormented defences as Liverpool won the Champions League in 2018/19 and a drought-breaking Premier League the following season.

Mane won the Premier League’s Golden Boot in 2018/19 and the PFA Fans’ Player of the Year as Liverpool won a first league title in 30 years in 2020, while he was included in the PFA Team of the Year on four occasions.

Mane’s mix of insatiable work-rate and goal threat were a key part of Liverpool’s intensity from the front, with the forward departing for Bayern Munich having scored 120 goals in 269 games for the club.

Rating: 10/10 – A crucial component of Liverpool’s modern success

Read – Iconic Duos: Heskey and Owen – Liverpool’s ‘big man, small man’ combo that inspired a cup treble

Read Also – Midfield Magicians: Xabi Alonso, the grand master of 4D chess

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