The Most Underrated Players and Managers in Liverpool FC History

- - Managers, Players

Red Speech Bubble Question MarkJanuary 1964. Roy Evans joins Liverpool FC as a 16-year-old defender after Bill Shankly personally visited the family’s Bootle home to talk to his mum and dad.

In truth, Evans’ playing career at Liverpool never really bore fruit, but it was on the coaching staff – he took up the position of reserve team manager aged just 25 under Shankly’s successor Bob Paisley – that his love affair with the club really began.

He became a member of the infamous Boot Room of coaches, playing his part in planning some of the club’s most famous days on home and international soil, before his qualities as a coach were rewarded with promotion to the first-team manager’s role in 1994.

And it was here that Evans went truly under-appreciated. His near five-year tenure may only have yielded one trophy – the 1995 League Cup, but Evans also oversaw two close-misses in the Premier League and a narrow defeat in the FA Cup final; that famous year in which the Reds players turned up in those natty white Armani suits.

Getting the best from Robbie Fowler, Steve McManaman and co, while providing a pathway into the first team for a series of youth prospects, Evans returned a win ratio of 51.77% as manager – Shankly, for what it’s worth, finished his Liverpool career at 51.98%.

Roy Evans, therefore, goes down in the history books as a true underrated great of Liverpool FC – who else joins him in that club?

Jordan Henderson

If a judge as reliable as Jurgen Klopp labels you as underrated, then who are we to argue?

Jordan Henderson’s time at Anfield ended on a rather sour note with his money-spinning move to Saudi Arabia, but his commitment during his 12 years at the club cannot be questioned – he’s also the only Liverpool captain, as of right now, to have lifted the Premier League trophy, as well as the Champions League silverware.

“I know, and it is always like this in life, people will only appreciate him properly after he has left. I think he didn’t get the proper appreciation or respect he would have deserved over the years,” Klopp reflected on Henderson’s tenure.

Steve Heighway

Who would you say is the greatest Liverpool FC player of all time – Kenny Dalglish? John Barnes? Kevin Keegan? Ian Rush? Steven Gerrard? Mo Salah?

It’s unlikely that Steve Heighway would get many votes in such a poll, but Reds fans that know their history know that the enigmatic winger was right up there with the very best ever to strut their stuff at Anfield – hence his underrated tag.

With 66 assists to his name, Heighway is one of the most creative players in Liverpool’s history – behind every great goalscorer there’s a great playmaker, with Heighway doing much of the hard work from which the likes of Keegan and John Toshack would thrive.

Playing more than 300 games for the club, Heighway won five First Division titles, two European Cups and much more silverware at Liverpool – even if he was happy for Keegan and co to take the headlines. His impact was such that he remained as a coach with the academy well into his seventies!

Dirk Kuyt

When Dirk Kuyt joined Liverpool, he was known as a prolific goalscorer from his time at Feyenoord.

He found the transition to the Premier League difficult as far as scoring goals was concerned, and so set about making himself useful to the club in a different way – as an industrious number ten or winger who ran himself into the ground every time he pulled on the red shirt.

Kuyt ended up netting 71 goals in 285 appearances for the club, assisting many more but ultimately being invaluable for his industrious nature and ability to perform in big matches – albeit in losing efforts in the Champions League and FA Cup finals.

A Liverpool player in what was a mediocre time for the club, Kuyt was a pivotal figure – but so underrated is he that he could walk through Liverpool city centre and not everybody would recognise him!

Steve Finnan

If you were asked to name the starting eleven that won the Champions League for Liverpool in 2004/05, there’s a chance that you’d be missing a few names – Steve Finnan likely to top of the list.

The unassuming right back made more than 200 appearances for the club between 2003 and 2008, and in that time he played his part in amassing an outstanding trophy haul – a Champions League, an FA Cup and a UEFA Super Cup the pick of the bunch.

So well respected was Finnan that he was named in the Team of the Year for the Premier League, Championship and the old Second Division – there can’t be many players in football that have shared that accolade.

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