Liverpool FC top 10 full-backs – From Alexander-Arnold to Kennedy

Liverpool has been the home to a number of impressive full-backs throughout the years, but who sits in our top ten list?

The role of a full-back has evolved more than any other position on a football pitch, with the demands in an attacking sense changing the way the role is perceived.

The position has undergone significant changes from a defensive focus to the team’s creative hub, as has been the case for Liverpool.

The Reds currently have two full-backs who have helped redefine the role and sit among the world’s best, but where do they rank in the history of the position at Anfield?


10. Steve Staunton

Steve Staunton, Liverpool, 1990 (Neal Simpson/EMPICS Sport)

As you’ll see throughout the list, versatility is king for a full-back and Staunton was no different as he fulfilled all that was asked of him above his regular left-back duties.

Over two different spells at Liverpool during the 1980s and 1990s, Staunton played a key role on the left and saw his international career blossom alongside his exploits at Anfield.

Not the most popular of players, but one that made a significant contribution to the trophy cabinet and was good enough to for the club to not only sign once but twice.


9. Markus Babbel

Markus Babbel, 2001 (Mike Egerton/EMPICS Sport)

A Liverpool career that was cut too short far too soon, with his 73 appearances leaving you wanting more – especially after his debut season that ended with the 2001 cup treble.

A hard man to beat in defence, Babbel was similarly impressive in the attacking phases of the game with marauding runs down the right wing assisted by his nimble and quick feet.

Babbel was a model professional and many anticipated a long run at right-back before his illness wiped out his stamina.

A player who made a big impact in a short amount of time.


8. Tommy Smith

Tommy Smith, Liverpool (Peter Robinson/EMPICS Sport)

An ever-present during the ’60s and ’70s, Smith was the king of versatility, first starting in attack before a move into central defence and then covering both full-back positions.

Intimidating, courageous, and certainly one you’d not what to see charging at you for a tackle, Smith was a no-nonsense player.

While full-back was not the role he always fulfilled, he left an impression and was one who would inspire those around him to reach greater heights. A total of 638 career Liverpool games speaks volumes.


7. Rob Jones

COVENTRY, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 6, 1996: Liverpool's Rob Jones in action against Coventry City during the Premiership match at Highfield Road. Coventry won 1-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Injury may have curtailed his Anfield career, but there can be no denying Rob Jones’ talent at right-back throughout the 1990s.

Brave, defensively astute and a confident ball carrier, Jones is somewhat underappreciated, but not here.

He adapted when needed at left wing-back and rarely, if ever, put a foot wrong – and we’re not counting failing to score in that bracket!

Forced to retire at 27, Jones left it all out on the pitch and left many wanting more.


6. Chris Lawler

Borussia Dortmund's Siggi Held (right) gets in a cross despite the attention of Liverpool's Chris Lawler, 1966 final ( Witters/Witters/Press Association Images)

As unassuming as they come, so much so that he was nicknamed ‘The Silent Knight’, and Bob Paisley said Lawler had the “brain of a striker.”

He put it to good use, scoring 61 times from 549 appearances from 1963 to 1975 in the right-back position – Lawler offered a glimpse at what the modern-day full-back would be.

Lawler was a product of Bill Shankly and had superior durability, as shown by playing in every single match during the 66-game campaign in 1972/73, at which point he was 30 years of age.

A Scouser who let his football do the talking.


5. Andy Robertson

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, April 24, 2022: Liverpool's Andy Robertson celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Everton FC, the 240th Merseyside Derby, at Anfield. Liverpool won 2-0. (Pic by Lindsey Parneby/Propaganda)

Many perceived Robertson’s arrival as underwhelming, but the Scot emphatically put those thoughts to bed to address a long-standing issue in the left-back position.

Energetic, creative and robust in defence, Robertson’s rise has been in tandem with his full-back partner and his durability has made him an ever-present for Jurgen Klopp.

While his proficiency in front of goal is an area for improvement, he certainly knows how to set one up and the passion he exudes for Liverpool quickly saw him tagged as a fan favourite.


4. Trent Alexander-Arnold

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 27, 2022: Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold (L) celebrates after scoring setting-up the sixth goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and AFC Bournemouth at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The next generation of full-backs, by the age of 23 Alexander-Arnold had collected all six major honours available to him – and there’s every chance he can do it all over again.

A wand for a right boot and the vision to match, Alexander-Arnold is a playmaker from right-back and one of the very best in the world currently.

The modern-day right-back, the Scouser in our team, and you sense he will not always be in this position on the list…


3. Steve Nicol


One of the finest full-backs in the club’s history, a career that spanned 12 years and 468 appearances, with eight major honours during that time.

Versatile would be underselling Nicol such was his prowess and ability to adapt, a two-footed genius who was as defensively sound as he was lethal in attack.

“He can defend, tackle, he can head the ball, he can take players on and he can score goals,” was how Graeme Souness, Nicol’s former captain, surmised his qualities.

A true great.


2. Alan Kennedy

Liverpool's winning goalscorer Alan Kennedy celebrates with the European Cup

A Bob Paisley signing, Kennedy solved yet another left-back woe for the Reds, even if it did not appear as though that would be the case after his nervous debut.

His left boot was responsible for the 1981 European Cup triumph and then again in 1984 during the penalty shootout, a player with supreme composure and confidence.

Kennedy’s pace and dedication set him apart from the rest, an attacking full-back with a knack for scoring on the big stage.


1. Phil Neal

Phil Neal, Liverpool, 1980 (Image: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo)

An unknown quantity signed from the Fourth Division, Neal soon wrote his name into legend, with his composure, skill, awareness and penalty prowess.

Couple that with the incredible durability that saw him feature in 365 consecutive league games and you have one of Liverpool’s greatest right-backs.

Neal scored 59 goals throughout his career, 38 of those were from the spot – including a conversion in the 1977 European Cup final. The most decorated player in Liverpool history with 22 pieces of silverware.

What a player.