Nostalgia: 7 Players We Wish Liverpool FC Had Kept

Neil HarperCorrespondent IJuly 23, 2011

Nostalgia: 7 Players We Wish Liverpool FC Had Kept

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    Hello again, welcome back to another carefully planned rant.

    No, don't leave! Aw, shucks.

    Anyway, I have allowed myself to indulge a little with this article, highlighting seven players I wished Liverpool had not sold. I'm only going back so far, so people wanting Ian Rush and John Barnes on this list may be a tad disappointed. I'm only going as far back as the Houllier reign....or 1999-2000 to normal people.

    Let's start.

7. John Arne Riise

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    Starting with an easy one, in my opinion, Riise is one of the best left-backs Liverpool has had for a while and I was shocked when he left in 2008, mainly because Liverpool didn't really have another left-back at the time and used another player (who I'll be discussing later) to fill the gap.

    Riise constantly showed that he could defend and attack with relative ease, and he had a wicked left foot on him.

    For those that don't believe me, BAM

    It very much surprised me when last week he joined Fulham, and although I've not seen much of him during his time at Roma, I still think he'd be a good left-back now. And with Liverpool's current problems in that area, it just seemed odd that they didn't show interest in him.

    Oh yeah, he also conceded a few bad own goals and got hit with a golf club courtesy of Craig Bellamy.

    But we'll let that slide.

6. Alvaro Arbeloa

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    He's the man who took over left-back responsibilities from Riise, and although he was a very good left-back, it still screamed in my mind that he should be playing on the right. I'll give an example: Imagine if last season Liverpool had no left-backs, so they got Glen Johnson to cov....oh....damn.

    Anyway, back to Arbeloa, who was brought in by Benitez when he seemed to be buying everyone with a Spanish sounding name. I was a little dubious about Arbeloa, especially when I think of Antonio Nunez, but he quickly became vital to the team's success at the back and was often underrated.

    So when Real Madrid bought him for £3.5 million, I think I was one of the few who realised it was an absolute steal.

5. Dietmar Hamann

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    How lucky are Stockport? I mean, apart from the two relegation's in two seasons, and the whole no money thing, how lucky are they?!

    In case you don't know, Hamann was named Stockport manager a few weeks ago, in which that would have gone straight over your heads. So now you'll know and can go back and read it—isn't it great?

    Right! Hamann spent some of his best years at Liverpool, and although Lucas is improving with every game and had his best season last year, I would trade him in a second for Didi Hamann during the beginning of the 00's.

    He was fantastic as a defensive midfielder and wasn't afraid to attack either, alongside Steven Gerrard— they were so good.

4. Yossi Benayoun

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    Never has such a good player been so under used.

    It was ridiculous how few appearances he made. I still remember a match against Burnley (I think) where he scored a hat-trick, got Man of the Match and was on the bench the next game. Also, there was the more famous Arsenal game that finished 4-4, where Benayoun came on and completely changed the game for Liverpool and scored the equaliser.

    OK, he may not have been the best player in the world, but he was good to have because he would always come on and play at his best, which is why Chelsea bought him last season—a stupid deal for Liverpool in my view—where Benayoun has again been warming the bench for a season.

    Especially with some of Liverpool's injuries last season, Benayoun could have fit into the team. Imagine Maxi's run at the end of the season just slightly earlier. 

3. Michael Owen

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    Of course you knew he'd turn up sooner or later.

    Owen was one of the best strikers Liverpool had, and I think if he had stayed he would have been up there with the very best. However, he made a bad move, and I don't think anyone thought it would have been at the time. But his move to Real Madrid was a poor one, and after that he had an average stint at Newcastle, and then a move to the bench at Old Trafford.

    I still think he would have done better if he had stayed at Liverpool. OK, he still would have been injured a lot, but I still think, like he does when he gets the chance to at United, he could score goals.

    But the one goal he did score sent Blackpool down.

    Damn you Owen!

2. Sami Hyypia

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    Is there any doubt?

    If he'd have stayed I would have been ecstatic, but he wanted to finish his playing career in Germany, which I totally agree with.

    I would still have him back, despite the fact he's retired. I'd be happy to see him play for Liverpool into his 50's.

1. Xabi Alonso

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    No doubt in my mind, Alonso leaving was a low point for Liverpool. He and Mascherano as the heart of the midfield worked perfectly—it just did. Their partnership was key to Liverpool's successful Premiership season two years ago.

    It goes without saying that Alonso was a great player, even further when he was bought by Real Madrid (yet another player) for £35 million. I mean, that's Andy Carroll money!

    I am glad that Lucas has managed to step up since Alonso and Mascherano's departure, but I still feel that Alonso had more to show at Liverpool, and it's unfortunate he never got to show it.

Conclusion

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    So there we go. There's my list, and feel free to comment about some of my choices whether you agree or not.

    Thanks for reading, and....I need a snappy pun to end on.

    Dammit.