Liverpool’s status as one of the biggest clubs in world football can make it difficult for every player to get the appreciation that they deserve. The Anfield outfit have been full of world class stars for the majority of their history.
Nowadays, under Jurgen Klopp, pretty much the entire starting 11 qualifies as world class – the current Liverpool side is the best version of the Reds that the Premier League has ever seen.
But this article intends to shine a light on Liverpool players, past and present, who somehow went underrated. Take a look below at Liverpool’s 10 most underrated players of the Premier League era.
Danny Murphy never quite got the credit he deserved at Liverpool. An underrated member of the side, Murphy scored winning goals in three seasons out of four against Manchester United at Old Trafford and even broke into the England squad during his time at Anfield. Perhaps inevitably though, he was always overshadowed by a certain Steven Gerrard.
Lucas Leiva was always going to be a part of this list. The Brazilian is the pure definition of underrated. In a difficult era at Liverpool, Leiva made 346 appearances at the base of Liverpool’s midfield, winning the League Cup during his time at the club.
When the name Fabio Aurelio springs to mind, the first thing we think of is his free-kick at Old Trafford, as Liverpool smashed Manchester United 4-1. But the full-back was unfortunate enough to have featured for Liverpool before the era of appreciating those in his position, and was often overlooked for his contributions.
Every side needs a Yossi Benayoun: a player who is not necessarily the best but does their job close to perfection. His importance was highlighted in the 2008/09 season when the Reds almost won the Premier League title and the midfielder scored eight goals.
Luis Garcia may be a cult hero at Anfield, but not many take a step back to appreciate just how good he actually was. All you have to do is take a look at his volley against Juventus to really appreciate Garcia’s talent.
Gini Wijnaldum was a constantly available and consistently performing crucial cog in Klopp’s winning machine at Anfield. He wouldn’t get much air-time on Match of the Day but over the course of 90 minutes would carry out his role in midfield with absolute perfection. He was a virtual ever-present in the Liverpool sides that won the Champions League and the Premier League title under Klopp.
It was only last season that the Premier League began to appreciate just how good Joel Matip is. Injuries have plagued his time at Anfield but when he’s fully fit, the Cameroonian’s ability to carry the ball out of defence is a crucial asset for Klopp’s side. At 6 foot 5, he’s a force to be reckoned with in the air as well.
It might seem strange to dub a Liverpool legend underrated, but at club level Jamie Carragher always had to contend with Gerrard for local-hero status, while his England career saw him pigeon-holed as second-rate compared to the likes of John Terry, Rio Ferdinand, Ledley King and Jonathan Woodgate. Nonetheless, he’s Liverpool’s second-top all-time appearance maker and won everything at Anfield barring the FA Cup and the Premier League.
Jordan Henderson may not be a world-class player in terms of ability – but there’s no doubt he’s a world-class captain. The armband has weighed heavy at times but ultimately the England international has lead his side to the Premier League title and the Champions League, and during the 2014/15 season even finished up with the most goal contributions of any Reds player.
Few footballers epitomise underrated quite like Dirk Kuyt – one of Liverpool’s most hard working players. The Dutchman wasn’t as naturally talented as Fernando Torres or Gerrard, but he held a similarly important role during his time at Anfield, scoring a hat-trick against Manchester United, as well as the deciding penalty against Chelsea in the 2008 Champions League semi-final.