5 Liverpool FC All Time Most Underrated Players

Liverpool has been one of the most successful clubs in the English Premier League and Europe winning 18 league titles (to be made 19 this season), six champions league, 3 UEFA CUP and so many more with a lot of players contributing to the success of this great team.

In this article, e360hubs will be taking a look at the 5 most underrated Liverpool players of All Time.


Liverpool FC’s 5 Most Underrated Players of All Time

Signed from the Brazilian outfit Gremio in the summer of 2007 for a fee of 2 million, Lucas Leiva was brought to Anfield at a time when the midfield was dominated by the likes of Xabi Alonso and Mascherano. The young Brazilian was just 20 at the time when he was signed and was relatively inexperienced. He was much derided for his inconsistent performances in the first couple of seasons, but after the departure of Alonso and eventually Mascherano, his assured displays as a holding midfielder earned him the trust of the fanbase. He regularly featured in the 2009-10 season, having 50 appearances that year while taking up the mantle in the midfield.

His tremendous improvement year after year peaked in 2010-11 when he was unanimously chosen to be Liverpool’s player of the season. Always composed on the pitch, he became a key figure in the team, holding the midfield for fullbacks to venture forward. An ACL injury picked up against Chelsea in the League Cup in 2012 during the second half of the season halted his progress and the Brazilian was out of the team for 3 months, a span in which Liverpool lost 11 out of 19 games, showcasing the necessity of his presence to the club.

Used as a substitute most of the time during later stages of his career, he nevertheless was still reliable when called upon and performed consistently. With the departure of Steven Gerrard, he was one of the longest-serving Reds in the team Klopp inherited, filling in whatever role his manager required. With 346 appearances for the Reds, the Brazilian finally departed the club in 2017, joining Lazio where he continues to enjoy a re-emergence of his form at later stages of his career.

Liverpool FC’s 5 Most Underrated Players of All Time

Gary Gillespie was signed on from Coventry City in 1983 as a backup to the well established European winning partnership of Alan Hansen and Mark Lawrenson. When Lawrenson was injured during the latter stages of the same season, Gillespie made the most out of the opportunity but was still considered a backup player.

His versatility didn’t go amiss with the manager however, with the Scot employed further up the pitch to fill in the odd midfielder role. With the arrival of Kenny Dalglish as a manager in 1985 however, Gary Gillespie was finally allowed to return to his natural center-back role, in which he flourished for the Reds alongside Alan Hansen. The graceful Scotsman won 3 league titles during his time and a European Cup in 1984, and even scored a rare hat trick in 1986 playing against Birmingham.

With viruses and injuries plaguing the latter half of his career and the departure of Kenny Dalglish made him fall out of favour with the new manager and eventually Gary Gillespie left the club to join Celtic in 1991 after putting in 214 appearances for the Reds.

Liverpool FC’s 5 Most Underrated Players of All Time

Steve Finnan is the only player in the world who has played in the World Cup, Champions League, UEFA Cup, Intertoto Cup, and all four divisions of the English league. Signed from Fulham, he regularly featured for the Reds since 2003 at the right-back position. Always reliable as a full back, he was always a part of the ever-changing tactics of Rafa Benitez’s initial years and was a part of the famous Istanbul team that won the Champions League, however his knee injury saw him getting replaced at half time.

A playstyle similar to Andy Robertson, Finnan was always running up and down the wing, never missing the opportunity to harass opponents with the ball. Besides the Champions League, he also won the FA Cup in 2006. Subsequent seasons saw him lose his position to Alvero Arbeloa, and by the end of 2008, Steve Finnan announced his retirement from international football and moved on to Spanish outfit Espanyol. Even though he stayed for 5 years at the club, his modesty and reliability both on and off the pitch still makes him popular among some Kopites.

Liverpool FC’s 5 Most Underrated Players of All Time

Although an injury ravaged the gifted Brazilian’s footballing career, Fabio Aurelio nevertheless was still one of the most underrated full-backs in the last decade. Having played under Rafa Benitez in Valencia, the Brazilian was quickly brought to Anfield by the Spaniard in July 2006. He was the first Brazilian ever to play for Liverpool, making his debut against Chelsea in the Community Shield Cup the same year.

All of his 4 goals have come under memorable circumstances, the most popular a spectacular free-kick against Manchester United at Old Trafford in an emphatic 4-1 victory in 2008. He also scored a sublime low volley against Chelsea in the second leg of the UCL quarter-final that same year too, a thriller of a match which ended 4-4 and saw Chelsea narrowly edging out the Reds. His technique with the ball when he was in form was beautiful to watch, and the 2008-09 campaign was the most successful for the Brazilian left-back.

Regular injuries again hampered his progress in 2009 and he was restricted to play in European matches, rarely utilized in the league. His body never reached the same fitness level and he was even offered a pay-as-you-play contract by the club. With the departure of Rafa Benitez, Aurelio’s contract was extended for two years as the new manager Roy Hodgson recognized his talent and was reluctant to let him go. However, another long term knee injury restricted his appearance in the 2011-12 season and he was finally let go with the Brazilian joining home club Gremio at the age of 31 where he played for two years before announcing his retirement from the game itself at the age of 34.

Liverpool FC’s 5 Most Underrated Players of All Time

The most underrated Red player of all time, few consider Ronnie Whelan in the all-time top XI list, but with a haul of 12 trophies and almost 500 appearances, Ronnie Whelan was the most consistent midfielder for the Reds throughout the 80s.

Joining the team aged 18 from Irish side Home Farm in the summer of 1979, Ronnie Whelan was a part of a team filled with European winners and legends like Kenny Dalglish, Graeme Souness and Alan Hansen. A gifted midfielder, he also sometimes played as a defender during his later years at Merseyside.

He was known for his maturity even as a teenager, with the Irishman often dictating the tempo of the game in the left midfield intelligently allowing players like Dalglish and Rush to blossom forward. He was known for scoring some spectacular goals too, including an extra-time curler against Manchester United in the League Cup final of 1983.

During his time with the Reds, the understated Whelan has won six league titles, a European Cup, three FA Cups and three League Cups. He was made the stand-in captain after Alan Hansen suffered a long term injury and captained the team through the unfortunate Hillsborough disaster. After the 1990 season, he was sidelined with a knee injury and rarely made league appearances and at the age of 33 departed for Southend United as a player-manager on a free contract.

Here are some more underrated Reds that did not get the plaudits they deserved –

Dirk Kuyt
Emile Heskey
Danny Murphy
Peter Crouch
Jordan Henderson

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