Liverpool’s Best Scottish Players of All Time

Liverpool have been blessed with some truly sensational players from all over the world. In recent years they have had a front three that has consisted of world class players from Egypt, Senegal and Brazil, and currently boast an attacking line-up that features top notch footballers from Portugal, Netherlands, Colombia and Uruguay.

In the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez they also have homegrown talent too, with local stars such as Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher and Robbie Fowler lighting up the not so distant past as well. However, the club has also had a long and fruitful association with Scotland, with both some of Liverpool’s best players and managers (and even player-managers) of all time coming from north of the border.

Scottish football has had a bit of a resurgence over the last few years and the national side will be at Euro 2024 in Germany. Even so, though, the current crop of players representing the Tartan Army are not quite up to the standard of years gone by, when Scotland often had a number of genuinely world class players at any one time. The Reds were fortunate enough to have several of these playing for them at various times, and here are Liverpool’s best Scottish players of all time.

Kenny Dalglish

Kenny Dalglish
Jim Wall | Wikipedia

There can be no other place to start than King Kenny, a true Red who won so much with the club as a player, a player-manager, and then just as the boss. Younger fans may only remember him for his sterling work in the dugout and the incredible way he offered supported post-Hillsborough, but those of an older vintage will think of Dalglish as the incredible attacking talent he was.

In all he played for the club 515 times, scoring 172 goals and registering countless (not least because they weren’t actually counted in those days!) assists. His best return came in his first campaign with the club after he left his boyhood team Celtic. In 1977/78 he banged in 31 goals in 62 games in all competitions, helping the team win the European Cup.

In all, as a player, Kenny won three European Cups with the Reds, six league titles, the FA Cup (as part of a double) and four League Cups. Individually he was named the PFA Players’ Player of the Year in 1982/83 and was the runner-up in the Ballon d’Or in 1983. Given only one Liverpool player (Michael Owen) and one Scot (Denis Law) has ever won the Ballon d’Or, we think it is more than safe to say that the King is the best Scot to have ever played for Liverpool.

Graeme Souness

Graeme Souness
RoverTheBendInSussex | Wikipedia

Souness played alongside Dalglish many times for both Liverpool and Scotland, and indeed the duo joined the Reds around six months apart. Souness signed from Middlesbrough in January 1978 and his impressive list of honours is similar to Dalglish’s, with five titles, four League Cups and three European Cups.

Souness was born in Edinburgh but due to playing for them and first going into management there, he is most linked with Rangers, whilst Kenny managed and played for their great rivals Celtic. The two were markedly different players too, with Dalglish all about creativity, vision and intelligence, whilst Souness was known for his fierce tackling and hard-man image.

What both had in common, though, was their leadership, will to win and their commitment to the team cause. Souness was a world class player when he was at Liverpool and there was, in truth, more to his game than just winning the ball. He played 354 times for the Reds and chipped in a very respectable 55 goals.

Alan Hansen

Alan Hansen
Hans van Dijk | Wikipedia

Hansen was one of three Scottish players bought by the legendary Bob Paisley at around the same time to help improve and rebuild an already brilliant Liverpool side. The other two were Dalglish and Souness, so it is safe to say that Paisley knew what he was doing in the transfer market.

Hansen was a player of extreme grace and skill and although he only played 26 times for his country he was one of the best centre backs in the world at his peak. He played a massive 620 games for the Reds and is one of the club’s most decorated players. Hansen won a whopping eight league titles with Liverpool, both alongside Dalglish and also under him when Kenny became the manager. He also boasts two FA Cups, three European Cups and four League Cups.

Hansen is also in both the English and Scottish Football Halls of Fame. He only ever played for two clubs, Liverpool and Partick Thistle and made the English PFA’s Team of the Century (1907-2007), having been named in the Team of the Year six times during his career with Liverpool.

Other Brilliant Scots to Have Played for Liverpool

Most Reds would agree that Paisely’s trio of Scottish signings are the best three Scots to have ever played for Liverpool. However, over the years the club have had so many Scottish players and there are many others worth mentioning.

Among the current crop, Andy Robertson is certainly a star, and given the club paid just £8m for him, he has to be considered a real bargain too. Robertson is tenacious, brilliant defensively and superb going forward, with Trent the only full back in Premier League history to have provided more assists.

Another full back (and all-purpose player) worthy of consideration is Steve Nicol. Born in Troon, he joined the Reds from Ayr and played 468 times for Liverpool, winning eight major honours. His versatility was a big strength and like many of the Reds’ stars, he went into management, mostly in the US where he finished his playing days.

Ian St John, Gary McAllister, brilliant goalkeeper Tommy Lawrence and many other Scots have also played brilliantly in Liverpool’s red and won many honours. However, for a top three, it has to be Kenny, Souness and Hansen as far as we’re concerned!