20 Liverpool Players You've Probably Forgotten

Mark Jones@@Mark_Jones86Featured ColumnistSeptember 8, 2013

20 Liverpool Players You've Probably Forgotten

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    Liverpool fans, remember Oussama Assaidi?

    Of course you do: He only left the Reds last week, whilst his loan move to Stoke ensures that he'll pop up in the general consciousness from time to time.

    He may even come back to Anfield of course, but that seems highly unlikely. Assaidi will almost certainly depart the Reds on a permanent basis next summer, either for Stoke or someone else.

    The winger occasionally looked okay during his 12 appearances for Liverpool, half of which were in Europe and most of which were from the bench, but he won't exactly be overly missed by a squad which looks stronger with his absence.

    He's not a bad player, but nor is he a very memorable one. Chances are that when you hear his name crop up in the future, it might take a while for you to register that he once donned the Red shirt.

    He's not alone in that.

    Liverpool have gone through so many players that you are bound to have forgotten some of them, so we're here to remind you of a few.

    Now the rules are that these players in question had to have played at least one competitive game for the Reds in the past 20 years, and that they aren't memorable enough to be included on those infamous "worst ever Liverpool players" lists that you'll all have read.

    They are just, well, forgettable players.

    So are you sitting comfortably? Then, in no particular order, we'll begin...

Patrice Luzi

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    Some Liverpool goalkeepers were born great, and some had greatness thrust upon them.

    Others were like Patrice Luzi.

    One in a line of many reserve goalkeepers who had gone before and have gone since when he joined Gerard Houllier's Reds from French side Ajaccio in the summer of 2002, Luzi never got anywhere near the first-team bar one January night at Stamford Bridge in 2004.

    Chris Kirkland was somewhat typically injured, and so when Jerzy Dudek limped off 77 minutes into Liverpool's meeting with Chelsea, there was concern that the Reds wouldn't be able to hold on to the 1-0 lead they'd achieved through a Bruno Cheyrou goal.

    Yet on came Luzi for his 13 minutes of fame.

    The then-23-year-old's moment to remember came when he dived at the feet of Adrian Mutu to keep out a late effort from the Romanian, and with Liverpool clinging on to their advantage following a late red card for El-Hadji Diouf, Luzi stayed strong and enjoyed his moment to remember.

    It would turn out to be his only one...

Paul Jones

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    With Dudek and Kirkland now injured, Houllier faced a goalkeeping conundrum. Would he stick with the untried Luzi or bring in someone more experienced?

    In the event, he went for the latter and decided to bring in the 36-year-old Wales international Paul Jones on a short-term contract.

    Five years earlier, Jones had conceded seven goals in a game against Liverpool when playing for Southampton, but the boyhood Reds fan fulfilled a dream when he turned out for the Reds in a home match against Aston Villa in January 2004.

    Liverpool won the game 1-0 courtesy of an own goal from Jones' Wales teammate Mark Delaney, and the veteran stopper played again the following week in a 2-1 loss at Tottenham.

    Soon after, though, Dudek returned to fitness. After a couple of games on the bench, Jones left Liverpool for a move to his former club Wolves.

    He'd come in to provide good backup, and done just that.

Leyton Maxwell

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    If you were only going to make one appearance for Liverpool, what would you like to do?

    The chances are that scoring a fine goal in front of the Kop would be pretty high on your list, and Welshman Leyton Maxwell achieved just that in September 1999.

    Playing in a League Cup tie against Hull City, the 19-year-old Maxwell fired home a goal that he'd never forget in Liverpool's 4-2 win.

    A former youth-team colleague of Steven Gerrard and Michael Owen, Maxwell's goal wasn't enough to earn him any more Reds appearances, and he ended up playing for Cardiff City as well as several clubs in the Welsh League.

Sebastian Leto

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    It wasn't strictly Sebastian Leto's fault that he failed to make an impact at Liverpool, although he hardly pulled up trees in his four appearances for the club.

    Problems with his passport meant that he was denied a work permit to play in the Premier League following his arrival from Argentinean club Lanus in the summer of 2007, much to the annoyance of Rafael Benitez (h/t BBC).

    He was somehow allowed to perform in cup competitions, though, and Leto started Champions League matches against Toulouse and Marseille as well as League Cup games at Reading and at home to Cardiff, but he was substituted in three of them and failed to impress in any.

    When he failed to get his work permit again in 2008, Leto was loaned to Olympiakos for a season before joining their rivals Panathinaikos for £3 million a year later, ensuring that Liverpool earned almost double what they paid for him.

    Not bad for a player who won't register on the radars of many.

Jean Michel Ferri

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    Perhaps he's too infamous to be included on this list, but Jean Michel Ferri certainly wasn't remembered at Liverpool for anything he did on the pitch.

    Though he was a member of the Nantes team which won the 1994/95 French title, there was nonetheless a belief that Ferri only joined Houllier's Liverpool in 1998 so the manager could have another French face around, and one who could inform him of just what the players were up to when away from the boss' gaze.

    The manager's first signing as solo boss following the end of the joint-manager experiment with Roy Evans, Ferri made two substitute appearances in defeats at Chelsea and Sheffield Wednesday but was never considered good enough to command a more regular place in the team.

    He moved back to France with Sochaux in 1999, with no one really sure why he'd turned up in the first place.

Daniele Padelli

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    Benitez and Liverpool had the Champions League final on their minds before their last game of the 2006/07 Premier League season, and so the squad was rotated for the match against relegated Charlton.

    It was Robbie Fowler's last ever first-team appearance, but it was also Italian goalkeeper Daniele Padelli's first.

    The 21-year-old goalkeeper was on a season-long loan from Sampdoria which would expire at the end of the campaign, and the Italian, who became the first of his countrymen to play for the Reds, turned in a nervy display in a 2-2 draw.

    A permanent deal for Padelli never materialised, and so that Charlton game was his one and only for the club, although his association with Liverpool didn't end there.

    Padelli played in goal for Udinese in a home-group clash against the Reds in last season's Europa League, where he was beaten by a Jordan Henderson strike for the only goal of the game.

Lee Jones

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    There were high hopes for teenage forward Lee Jones when he signed for Liverpool from Wrexham as an 18-year-old in 1992.

    However, he was to be dogged by terrible luck throughout his five-year Reds career, with two broken legs limiting him to just four substitute appearances, most notably a late one in a Premier League victory over Arsenal early in the 1996/97 season.

    He was always destined to be moved on, though, and following a couple of loan moves back to Wrexham, he joined Tranmere on a permanent deal in 1997.

Jan Kromkamp

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    A swap deal which sent the struggling Josemi back to Spain and brought the Dutch international Jan Kromkamp to Anfield in January 2006 was seen as beneficial to all parties, but Kromkamp didn't hang around for long.

    Usually a right-back, he was also utilised on the right hand side of midfield by Benitez as Liverpool juggled a challenge for the Champions League places with their run to the FA Cup final.

    The Reds ended up finishing third in the table. In the cup final against West Ham in Cardiff, Kromkamp appeared as a 67th minute substitute for the unfit Xabi Alonso.

    Crucially, that allowed for Steven Gerrard to move across to the centre of midfield, from where he scored that stunning last gasp equaliser to take the game to extra-time.

    Having helped win the cup, Kromkamp played in the opening league game of the following season before being sold to PSV Eindhoven after just eight months at Anfield.

Damien Plessis

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    A tall, powerful French midfielder who came through the youth ranks at Lyon, Damien Plessis was surprisingly given his first Liverpool start in a league game at the Emirates Stadium in April 2008.

    It was the second of three matches between Liverpool and Arsenal inside a week given the pair's meeting in that year's Champions League quarter-final, and the 20-year-old Plessis was impressive in an area of the pitch featuring the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Mathieu Flamini and Gilberto Silva.

    He played once more that season and started the following campaign by lining up from the beginning in a Champions League qualifier at Standard Liege and the first game of Liverpool's league season at Sunderland.

    He wouldn't play again in the league for the Reds. Although he scored in a League Cup defeat at Tottenham, an appearance in the same competition against Arsenal the following season would turn out to be his eighth and last for the club.

    Eclectic moves to Panathinaikos and Doncaster followed, but, now 25, the midfielder appears to have found a home at French Ligue 2 side Arles-Avignon, where he was a regular throughout last season.

Gabriel Paletta

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    Swapping Argentine club Banfield for Liverpool's home Anfield was supposed to bring the best out of centre-back Gabriel Paletta, but he never really got going.

    A handful of substitute appearances are never ideal for a central defender, and although Paletta scored in a 4-3 win over Reading in the League Cup, he soon had less happy memories of the competition given his part in the disastrous 6-3 loss at home to Arsenal in the next round.

    That was one of just eight appearances Paletta would make in the 2006/07 season, his only one for the club.

    A failure to get to grips with the English game was cited for Benitez's quick decision to move the defender back to South America. But after three years at Boca Juniors, Paletta moved back to Europe with Parma in the summer of 2010, and since he's been there he's grown into an important member of the squad.

    He might be easily forgotten at Liverpool, but his is certainly a success story elsewhere.

Stephen Wright

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    Legend has it that Gerard Houllier had gone to the Liverpool Academy with the intention of watching Stephen Wright when he accidentally stumbled upon a young Steven Gerrard, but the former was a pretty good player too.

    The Bootle-born full-back made his Reds debut in an 8-0 win at Stoke in the League Cup in 2000, and after just four first-team appearances, he found himself on the bench as an unused substitute for the UEFA Cup final win over Alaves in Dortmund.

    An illness to Markus Babbel saw Wright gain more first-team appearances the following season, when he managed to play 12 times in the Premier League and experience a huge low to a huge high.

    Just three days after his red card effectively cost Liverpool the game in a league clash at Charlton, he scored his one and only Reds goal with a header at the Kop end in a Champions League match against Borussia Dortmund.

    Following 21 appearances, he left for more first-team football at Sunderland in 2002.

    Eleven years later and now aged 33, he can currently be found playing for Wrexham in the Football Conference.

Bjorn Tore Kvarme

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    The late 1990s saw the Liverpool squad become awash with Norwegians, with centre-back Bjorn Tore Kvarme one of the more interesting additions.

    A signing from Rosenborg in 1997, the committed Kvarme was immediately installed into the Liverpool defence and became determined not to give up his place.

    He played 16 games in the 1996/97 season, all starts, before following that up with 30 appearances the following season.

    Despite all these games, it is difficult to remember anything of note that Kvarme did bar a couple of difficult nights, such as the 3-0 defeat in Strasbourg which all but knocked the Reds out of the UEFA Cup.

    The 1998/99 season saw Kvarme, who only ever earned one cap for Norway, named as an unused substitute no fewer than 21 times. He eventually moved to Saint-Etienne in a bid to get some more minutes under his belt.

    Overall he played 54 times for Liverpool, hardly sparkling in any of them.

Brad Friedel

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    Yes, we all know the veteran American goalkeeper for his time at Blackburn, Aston Villa and Tottenham, but sometimes it can be easy to forget that Brad Friedel played 31 times for Liverpool too.

    Having arrived as a 26-year-old goalkeeper, complete with some hair, in late 1997, Friedel made his debut late in the 1997/98 season and managed to see off competition from rival David James as he held the No. 1 jersey for a brief period.

    However, James battled back to claim the shirt for the majority of the 1998/99 season, and when Houllier signed Sander Westerveld the following summer, there was only one way that Friedel's Reds career was headed.

    He left for Blackburn in November 2000 but has always been given a rousing reception whenever he's returned to Anfield.

    The most memorable of these came in a 5-0 win over Aston Villa in March 2009, when Friedel was given a standing ovation after being sent off for fouling Fernando Torres, complete with calls from the Kop to allow him to stay on the pitch.

    As if listening to the pleas, the Premier League later rescinded the red card.

Gregory Vignal

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    Houllier was always seeking out the best young French talent and thought he'd found a gem when he brought in Gregory Vignal from Montpellier in September 2000.

    He played seven times that season, most notably being fouled for the free-kick from which Gary McAllister won a thrilling Merseyside derby at Goodison Park in April 2001.

    Left-back Vignal was an unused substitute for both the FA Cup and UEFA Cup final wins a month later, and he started to form a promising partnership with John Arne Riise on the left flank the following season.

    Riise soon established himself at left-back, though, and ensured that Vignal set off on a succession of loan deals to France, Spain and Scotland before a permanent move to Portsmouth in 2005, ending his Reds career on 20 appearances. 

Mark Kennedy

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    Dublin-born Mark Kennedy became British football's most expensive teenager when he left Millwall to join Liverpool for £1.5 million in March 1995.

    Despite his young age, the winger immediately became involved in the first team and played six times before the end of the season. However, the fact that he could only manage the same amount over the course of the whole of the following campaign was an indication that Kennedy was struggling with the step up in class.

    By 1996/97 the likes of Patrik Berger had begun to show his quality in Roy Evans' team, and Kennedy's eight substitute appearances didn't suggest that things were getting any better for him.

    He eventually left for QPR on loan in 1998 before a permanent switch to Wimbledon shortly afterwards, ensuring that that record-breaking teenager would end his Reds career with just 21 appearances to his name.

Pegguy Arphexad

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    Goalkeeper Pegguy Arphexad played just six times for Liverpool, yet he ended his Reds career with six winners' medals.

    The biggest beneficiary of being an unused substitute at a time when Houllier's Reds were winning everything in sight, Arphexad joined Liverpool from Leicester City in 2000.

    He'd developed a reputation for saving penalties whilst at Filbert Street, but he was never really given a chance to do that at Anfield given the fine form of Sander Westerveld.

    Arphexad sat on the bench and watched Westerveld help Liverpool win the League Cup, FA Cup, UEFA Cup, Charity Shield and European Super Cup in 2001, but an injury to the Dutchman meant that the Guadeloupe-born stopper started the 2001/02 season between the sticks.

    The signings of Jerzy Dudek and Chris Kirkland saw him soon drop down the pecking order again, but Arphexad still hung around for long enough to be an unused substitute for another cup final, the 2003 League Cup success over Manchester United.

    Soon afterwards he packed his medals and moved on to Coventry City, before ending his career a couple of years later.

Darren Potter

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    One of the first local lads to catch the eye of new boss Rafael Benitez in the summer of 2004, Darren Potter played in the Spaniard's first official match in charge against Grazer AK in a Champions League qualifier in Austria, before completing the full 90 minutes in the return leg at Anfield.

    The Academy product was used fleetingly throughout the season but did feature in the Champions League round of 16 win over Bayer Leverkusen as the Reds made their way improbably towards Istanbul.

    Having missed out on the squad for the final against AC Milan, Potter then played in five of the six matches as the Reds made their way through the qualifying stages of the following year's competition.

    The struggle for places in a crowded midfield was seeing him find it difficult to find a place in the side, though. After 17 appearances, all but two of which were in cup competitions, he left for loan spells at Southampton and Wolves before joining the latter permanently in 2007.

    After a spell at Sheffield Wednesday, he's currently in his third season at Milton Keynes Dons.

Mauricio Pellegrino

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    Well remembered at Liverpool for his time as assistant manager to Benitez, Mauricio Pellegrino's six-month spell as a player at Anfield is perhaps not as well recalled.

    Aged 33, the Argentinean moved to the Reds following six years at Valencia in early January 2005, and he went on to play 13 times for the club despite being cup-tied for the Champions League run to Istanbul.

    This meant that he was often used as cover for the likes of Sami Hyypia during Premier League matches, with perhaps his best performance coming in the white-hot atmosphere of a Merseyside derby at Anfield as Liverpool beat Everton 2-1.

    He frequently struggled with the pace and power of the English top flight, though, and when his six-month contract came to an end at the closure of the season, it wasn't renewed.

    He moved back to Spain with Alaves where he retired as a player, before returning as a coach under Benitez in 2008.

    After managing Valencia, he's now the boss of Estudiantes in Argentina, where his recent energetic display on the touchline led to a dislocated shoulder.

David Thompson

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    David Thompson's inclusion here is a harsh one, but it is also a reminder of the pressures and uncertainties of professional football.

    Midfielder Thompson played 56 times for Liverpool and is certainly not forgotten by anyone who saw his performances for the Reds during his time in the first team between 1996 and 2000, but his disciplinary  and injury problems leave a feeling of unfulfilled potential from a player who many saw as superior to contemporaries Steven Gerrard and Danny Murphy.

    After making his debut in the 1996/97 season, a loan spell at Swindon saw him return a better player, and he made an instant impact upon coming back when he scored the winner against Crystal Palace in April 1998.

    He played 18 times in 1998/99 before his real breakthrough campaign the following season when he played 31 times, a run which included him scoring the winner in a match against Chelsea at Anfield.

    By now he was considered to be on the fringes of the England squad, but injury cruelly struck before the summer of 2000, and then he was involved in an argument with manager Houllier over his return.

    He left for Coventry City that summer and scored on his first appearance back at Anfield with a goal that was given a standing ovation from the home fans.

    A move to Blackburn in 2002 led to more England talk, but more injuries struck, and his promising career drifted away before he was forced to retire in 2007.

Nuri Sahin

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    All right, he only left in January, but Turkish international Nuri Sahin's loan move to Liverpool was a curious non-event that isn't likely to be recalled fondly by Reds fans in years to come.

    After seeing off Arsenal to secure his temporary switch from Real Madrid last summer, the Reds were confident that they'd signed a player capable of slotting into their team smoothly ahead of Brendan Rodgers' first season as manager.

    However, failings in the transfer market meant that Sahin, who was once the Bundesliga player of the year whilst at Borussia Dortmund, was required to fill in in a more attacking role than he was used to, and the results were mixed.

    He started well, scoring twice in a League Cup win at West Brom before grabbing another goal in a 5-2 Premier League win at Norwich three days later.

    His influence on matches was minimal, though, and with the Reds missing the injured Lucas Leiva in midfield, games could often pass the undoubtedly talented Turk by.

    A blow to the face meant that left the pitch early in a Europa League tie at Udinese, and he never returned.

    After 12 games and three goals for Liverpool, Sahin's season-long loan move was terminated in January, and he moved back to former club Dortmund on loan.

    To cap off his odd season, he ended up coming on as a stoppage-time substitute for BVB in their Champions League final loss to Bayern Munich at Wembley.

    He wouldn't have got that at Liverpool, but then he never really looked like he wanted to be an Anfield in the first place.


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