Liverpool Transfers: 10 Players the Fans Would Love To See Come Back to Anfield
With the cherished history of Liverpool FC, it is easy to see how and why the club is revered across the globe.
Many of the world’s greatest players have pulled on the shirt of the Reds, and in doing so have cemented their legacies into their storied folklore one way or another.
There is no doubt that LFC have fielded some talented teams and have achieved just about everything in the game. This is testament to the remarkable players the club brings in, as Anfield is a popular destination for footy’s elite.
At the same time, many popular players have left the club to the dismay of the loyal fans. The club’s supporters would love to see specific players return and don the jersey one more time.
Here are 10 players fans of Liverpool FC would love to see return to Merseyside.
John Arne Riise, 2001-2008
The ginger-haired Norwegian came to Anfield from AS Monaco in the summer of 2001, and experienced a terrific spell with the Reds.
During his time at LFC, the versatile defender saw not only his skill sets rise, but also his popularity with the faithful.
Riise scored 10 goals in his opening campaign with the club, and for the next seven years he would help Liverpool challenge for silverware, helping win the 2005 Champions League and 2006 FA Cup.
Boasting a powerful shot and the ability to play just about anywhere on the park, there is no questioning the value of Riise during his time at Anfield. He was a constant fixture in big games and gained the trust of his coaches and teammates with steady performances.
Now plying his trade with Premier League foes Fulham, Riise would be openly welcomed if he returned to Anfield, and could provide influence and leadership to the promising young wing backs LFC currently has.
Fernando Torres, 2007-2011
A name much maligned nowadays at Anfield, Fernando Torres was one of those special players that doesn’t just stroll in Merseyside regularly.
After sealing a deal on July 4th, 2007 from boyhood club Atletico Madrid, El Nino simply lit the league up the second he stepped onto the pitch.
Torres was not only the most prolific foreign goal scorer ever in a debut campaign, he was also the first LFC player since Robbie Fowler to hit 30 goals in a season.
A speedy, strong, lethal and technically sound striker, he is also fragile nowadays. Torres’ strike rate for the Reds was out of this world though, and he made a name for himself among the Kop faithful.
While he has plastered his name in the Anfield history books, his image has somewhat been tarnished ever since he sought a move to rivals Chelsea FC. Although this selection may be met with mixed feelings, I assume a majority of Liverpool supporters would not mind seeing Torres find the net once again for the Reds; he will just have to wrestle the No. 9 shirt from Andy Carroll.
Xabi Alonso, 2004-2009
Known as one of the greatest passers in the modern game, Xabi Alonso personified the phrase “fan favorite” during his time at Liverpool.
With loads of international and club experience, Alonso’s trademark distribution and unbelievable goals assured the notion that he will forever be missed at Anfield.
Coming over from Real Sociedad as one of the first captures under Rafa Benitez, the Spaniard was brought in to inject an emphatic rhythm to Liverpool’s attack.
Sans a few injury spells, Alonso was a mainstay in LFC’s starting XI since his arrival, and his consistency constantly brought the praise of pundits and fans alike. Another player who saw Champions League glory in 2005 and FA Cup triumph in 2006, his departure from the club was unlike some of his predecessors, as he never expressed a desire to leave for Real Madrid.
It was a sad day when Alonso left back for his homeland, but knowing his legacy and adoration for the club, it would not surprise me to see him back in a Reds shirt if the opportunity arose.
Michael Owen, 1996-2004
Liverpool FC made Michael Owen a household name, and for that the England international is eternally grateful to have the honor of playing at Anfield.
Coming up through the youth ranks of LFC, Owen shot to prominence relatively quickly on his way to scoring 158 goals for the club.
A very frustrating figure to watch initially, it was no secret Owen had bags of talent that he sometimes did not utilize; he is the only Liverpool player to win the Ballon d’Or, an honor that speaks for itself.
And just as his LFC career seemed destined for greatness, he left for Real Madrid, hoping to find new endeavors. As fans look back, they realize the young Owen made a mistake that derailed his career slightly, with injuries also contributing to his setback.
At 31, Owen is now a member of bitter rivals Manchester United and is currently carrying over his decent preseason form into his limited playing time at Old Trafford. If Owen ever wanted to head back to Anfield, he could certainly find a role there.
Nicolas Anelka, 2001-2002
Although he spent just one short season at Anfield on loan from PSG, “Le Sulk” is a journeyman that may have been forgotten by some LFC supporters.
During his short spell with the club, he was pivotal in securing a second-place finish in the league, scoring gigantic goals against Fulham, Blackburn and neighbors Everton.
At the end of that season though, coach Gerard Houllier decided to ship the Frenchman back to Paris in favor of signing El Hadji Diouf.
After bouncing around a host of clubs, Anelka is currently with Chelsea and at 32, is still as efficient as ever. He continues to bag goals for the club and makes manager Andre Villas-Boas’ selection process all the more difficult.
Even if he wasn’t at the club long, Anelka’s class is pure and he could certainly help LFC if he was brought back to Anfield.
Javier Mascherano, 2007-2010
Hard-nosed, gritty, physical, forceful—all these words are accurate superlatives when describing the Argentine midfielder.
With an eye for a crunching tackle and an unruly temper, Mascherano came to LFC from West Ham on controversial terms.
Mascherano established himself under Benitez as the first choice holding midfielder, allowing players like Steven Gerrard and Xabi Alonso to get up the park.
His passion for the game was unmatched, and a lot of people misunderstood his competitive desire and labeled him a loose cannon. His first ever game in the Liverpool/Manchester United rivalry ended in chaotic fashion, as the Argentine was sent off and needed to be escorted by his teammates and coaches.
Mascherano has recovered from this instance and has seen his career blossom, highlighted by being appointed captain of the Argentine national team. El Jefecito could easily come back to Anfield and fit in seamlessly with the midfield once again.
Raul Meireles, 2010-2011
The tattooed Portuguese midfielder was brought to Anfield in 2010 to initially replace Javier Mascherano as he departed for Barcelona.
What they got from Meireles was more than they bargained for.
Not only did Meireles prove to be competent defensive midfielder, he eventually moved farther up the pitch when he started to find the back of the net regularly.
He scored five goals in six games for the club, and notably came up huge in the Liverpool Derby. As the season ended, he was able to pick up the PFA Fan’s Player of Year, beating out some huge names for the honor.
In an odd turn of events though, Meireles handed in a transfer request on the last day of the 2011 summer transfer window, moving to Chelsea FC. Although he later admitted never wanting to leave Anfield, he will forever be a cult hero and can surely come back any time.
Yossi Benayoun, 2007-2010
Benayoun is a player that doesn’t get the headlines he deserves, and the Israeli international sometimes goes unappreciated.
His arrival to Anfield, like Mascherano, came with a circus of controversy as well.
In fact, they both swapped West Ham shirts for the LFC kit and Benayoun quickly gained the trust of the Kop faithful.
The climax to his Liverpool career came in February of 2009, when he scored an 82nd minute header against Real Madrid in the Champions League. This gave Liverpool the win at the Santiago Bernabeu, and the goal is arguably the Israeli international’s most significant in his career.
Benayoun has bounced around since leaving Liverpool, playing with Chelsea and now Arsenal on loan. While injuries have slowed him as of late, he is still an elusive player who could supply a spark off the bench if he came back to Anfield.
Peter Crouch, 2005-2008
The lanky Crouch is in the mold of Raul Meireles when it comes to his cult status.
The England striker endured a difficult start to life in Merseyside, unable to find the back of the net during his first 19 games.
But when he finally opened his account, he was able to collect 42 goals as a Red, scoring critical goals in both Europe and the league.
Even with his positive displays, Crouch failed to permanently nail down a starting spot for the club. He was often praised by his teammates and coaches for putting in the dirty work as striker, and he was a frequent call-up to the England national team.
If Crouch were to return, he would most likely serve a similar role he had during his first stop at Anfield. The striker may be 30 years old but he still has a few goals left in the tank.
Scott Carson, 2005-2008
I was not aware of Scott Carson’s tenure with Liverpool, and it was for a legitimate reason.
After joining the Reds in January of 2005, he was loaned out to a different team every season until he left for West Bromich Albion on a permanent basis.
He is still technically a former Liverpool player, and the 26-year-old goalkeeper was able to gain valuable first-team experience during every loan spell.
Foster has developed into a very reliable keeper and elevated his game at West Brom, earning three England caps for his play. Once billed as the next England No.. 1, the young man has seen his international career come to halt.
Foster was brought to Liverpool originally to compete with Jerzy Dudek, and he can provide the same competition now with Pepe Reina. He definitely has the quality to serve as a viable backup to the Spaniard.