Comeback kings: Rush and Fowler both returned to Liverpool for second spells at the club
In almost every case, when a player leaves Liverpool it usually means that their careers are only going in one direction, and the chances of them ever returning to Anfield are slim to non-existent, although in some rare cases it does happen.
Both legendary front men Ian Rush and Robbie Fowler made highly emotional comebacks to the red half of Merseyside, the former from Juventus in 1988 and the latter via Leeds United and Manchester City in 2006.
However, that does not mean that there are not going to be some more famous names returning to the club in some capacity in the future, including possibly these former players …
Time at Liverpool: 2007-11
Liverpool games: 142
Liverpool goals: 81
Clubs after Liverpool: Chelsea
A goalscoring hero for all Liverpool fans to cherish from the moment he first arrived at Anfield in the summer of 2007 following his £20 million move from Liga outfit Atletio de Madrid, with El Nino going on to make quite some impact at the club.
In his first season on Merseyside, the Spain international not only equalled Roger Hunt’s record of scoring in eight straight home league games, but he also then broke Ruud van Nistelrooy’s record of the most Premier League goals scored in a debut campaign by a foreign player with 24 strikes in just 33 top-flight matches.
Torres would go on to net 81 goals in only 142 contests overall for the Reds, including 65 in 102 league fixtures for the club, before making a highly controversial move to Chelsea in a British-record transfer worth £50 million in January 2011.
However, it is fair to say that Torres’ time in West London has been an unmitigated disaster, with the attacker finding it hard to settle at Stamford Bridge, while his form in front of goal has also been erratic, to say the very least.
And with new Blues head coach Jose Mourinho hell bent on bringing Manchester United front man Wayne Rooney to the capital this summer, as reported by Neil Ashton and Sami Mokbel of the Daily Mail, it now appears as though Torres’ days at the Bridge are numbered.
But do not be too surprised if the Spaniard makes a shock return to Anfield one day to once again lead the Reds line and finish his glittering career as a Liverpool player once again, and that day may be closer than many people expect ….
Time at Liverpool: 2004-09
Liverpool games: 210
Liverpool goals: 19
Clubs after Liverpool: Real Madrid
Liverpool fans all fondly recall this Spanish pass master, brought to Anfield by previous boss Rafa Benitez in August 2004 from La Liga’s Real Sociedad for a fee of £10.7 million. The cultured midfielder went on to shine in the centre of the park for the Reds over the course of the next five years.
Long or short passes, tackles, expert set pieces, long-range shooting, you name it, Alonso was a fine exponent of it during his eye-catching stay on Merseyside. The Spain international played crucial roles in both Liverpool’s 2005 UEFA Champions League victory and their 2006 FA Cup triumph too.
In fact, Alonso’s partnership in front of the Reds back four alongside Argentinian holding midfield player Javier Mascherano between 2007-10 has been one of the club’s finest ever in that position.
And despite a highly successful £30 million return to his homeland to play for Liga giants Real Madrid in August 2009, that has not stopped stories in the Daily Express earlier this year suggesting that Alonso could be set for a dramatic Liverpool comeback very soon.
Time at Liverpool: 1999-2009
Liverpool games: 460
Liverpool goals: 39
Clubs after Liverpool: Bayer Leverkusen
Having been bought for just £2.6 million from Eredivisie minnows Willem II Tilburg in May 1999 by ex-Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier, no one could have predicted at that point that the giant central defender would go on to become one of the club’s greatest-ever players.
The Finland international, who had been recommended to former Liverpool chief executive Peter Robinson by a cameraman of all people, ended his decade-long Reds career in May 2009 having won 10 trophies at Anfield and with a place in the top-20 Liverpool player appearance list of all time.
However, the erstwhile Reds captain gave signal of his intentions to one day return to Merseyside to manage Liverpool on his farewell appearance at Anfield when telling The Sun: “Coaching is something which has always been in my mind. At the end of my playing career, I will look to take the badges and then see. I would like to come back here one day as a coach.”
And following the highly successful start to his coaching career as manager at Leverkusen in the Bundesliga, do not be at all surprised to see Hyypia back at Anfield one day soon, taking his place in the Reds dugout.
Time at Liverpool: 1997-2013
Liverpool games: 737
Liverpool goals: 5
Clubs after Liverpool: N/A
Liverpool’s second-longest ever serving player when he retired last May, the England international won pretty much everything that there is to claim in the game during his illustrious 16-year Reds career, including two FA Cups, three League Cups, the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Cup.
Whether it be acting as the club’s captain, vice-captain or simply organising the back four in his role as a leader of the defence (whether that be as a centre-back, left-back or right-back), Carragher has been Mr. Liverpool ever since making his first-team debut under ex-manager Roy Evans in January 1997.
And no one would be at all surprised were this self-confessed football obsessive to turn his hand to coaching at some point in the future, with a role at Anfield waiting for Carragher were that to happen.
“We wish Jamie well in his new career and the door will always be open for him at Liverpool,” Reds chairman Tom Werner told the London Evening Standard back in May after the veteran had finally hung up his boots.
“I really hope we see him back at the club one day because with all that experience and knowledge we know he has so much to offer.”