Time and time again new signings are told they’ll have to live up to the pedigree associated with certain Liverpool shirt numbers…
Fans were delighted when Luis Suarez proved good enough for Kenny Dalglish’s no.7, but devastated when Iago Aspas and El Hadji Diouf, for example, dirtied the no.9.
Yesterday Sadio Mane finalised his £30m move from Southampton and, after much debate, settled on the no.19.
After a little research, we realised the no.19 has pretty much no merit at all! In fact, since the inception of permanent squad numbers, nine players have held it – none to much avail.
Liverpool’s no.19 incumbents:
No.19s: Torben Piechnik, Mark Kennedy, Brad Friedel, Pegguy Arphexad, Fernando Morientes, Ryan Babel, Stewart Downing, Javier Manquillo, Steven Caulker
Three of the list; Pichnik, Arphexad and Caulker could get in Liverpool’s All-Time Worst XI, while Manquillo, Kennedy and Stewart flattered to deceive.
Babel and Morientes arrived with huge reputations but their stock dropped at Anfield and they’ve never go on to better things – leaving Friedel as the sole owner to have earned real grace wearing the no.19.
Shirt numbers are something for the superstitious and the nerdy, mostly, but we really hope our marquee summer signing bucks the trend and becomes a success in the rather uninspiring (to date) no.19!
In truth, there aren’t many LFC numbers to rival it, but the 26 comes close…
No.26s: Tony Warner, Jorgen Nielsen, Richie Partridge, Paul Anderson, Scott Carson, Jay Spearing, Charlie Adam, Tiago Ilori
The most successful of the modern era…? Maybe the no.10 – only sullied by Andriy Voronin and Joe Cole!
No.10s: John Barnes, Michael Owen, Luis Garcia, Andriy Voronin, Joe Cole, Coutinho