Two heads are most certainly better than one, and Anfield is awash with news of an impending and exciting new arrival.
Kenny Dalglish is set to sign a high profile new strike acquisition to boost his forward line and names being thrown into the hat are high calibre, with the likes of Uruguayan utility man Luis Suarez and flying Dutchman Eljero Elia rumoured to become the foil to Fernando Torres.
Torres has been minus a partner since joining in 2007/2008, yet this has not stopped El Nino becoming the fastest Liverpool marksman to hit a half century of goals.
Despite an almost telepathic understanding with Steven Gerrard, I don’t consider the brilliant pair as an orthodox strike duo. With Peter Crouch’s departure and the fact that Nando has continued to hit the net so frequently as a Lone Ranger is testament to what a master marksman the Spaniard is.
At long last it seems that the fans' prayers will be answered and Nando will now have a fellow strike partner to share the burden with.
Here are my top Liverpool striking duos from the last 50 years.
Dalglish & Rush
Dalglish was bought in to fill the boots of Kevin Keegan. St Asaph born Rushie was signed up for £300,000 in 1980 to share the striking burden. Whilst Dalglish was a big name when he arrived, Rush was a complete unknown. Dalglish is feted as Liverpool’s greatest ever player and Rushie has earned the accolade of record club goal scorer with 346 goals in 658 first-team appearances.
Toshack & Keegan
Batman and Robin were the bane of First Division defences from 1971/77, the English and Welsh front pairing were the prototypical target man and nippy forward duo.
Phil Thompson called them telepathic. Keegan scored a century of goals for Liverpool before departing for Hamburg. His last act was to snare Bertie Vogts to commit a foul inside the penalty area. The subsequent penalty was converted by Phil Neal, putting the cherry on a 3-1 win over Borussia Mönchengladbach in the 1977 European Cup Final.
Tosh racked up 96 goals, winning the First Division three times, the FA Cup in 1974, and UEFA twice.
Hunt & St John
Roger Hunt was a world cup winner in 1966. In 1961/62 the “blonde bomber” scored 41 goals as Liverpool plundered the league title. The partnership with Ian St John was telepathic. St John had joined the Reds from Motherwell in a £37,500 club record deal.
He repaid a huge slice of the huge fee by scoring a hat-trick on his debut. The hot streak continued with St John notching 18, 19 and 21 goals during the next three seasons on Merseyside.
Fowler & Collymore
This was a partnership made in Willy Wonka’s world famous chocolate factory. It had everything: pace, power, guile, goals, sugar and spice. Roy Evans beat off major competition when Big Stan joined the Reds in a record busting move from Frank Clark’s Nottingham Forest.
The Fowler and Collymore partnership was an instant hit, with 55 goals scored during the 1995/96 campaign, and 47 the year after. Collymore joined his boyhood club Villa for £7 million in 1997, whilst Fowler was shipped off to Peter Ridsdale’s emerging Leeds for £12 million in 2001/02.
In footballing terms this was surprising, considering the season before had been Fowler’s most memorable - 17 goals and captaining Liverpool to a hat trick of domestic and European trophies.
Stubbins & Balmer
Albert Stubbins was 27-years-old when George Kay shelled out a mammoth £12,500 to bring him from Newcastle to Anfield. He was a made man, having netted 237 goals in 199 games for the Magpies.
Everton, the more glamorous “Team of talents,” were also in the running, and Stubbins spun a coin to help him reach a decision. With the spinning coin landing heads up, Stubbins chose Anfield over Goodison.
Stubbins was already familiar with his strike partner Balmer and in a team featuring Bob Paisley and the mercurial Billy Liddell, both netted a superb 24 goals each on the way to Liverpool securing the title.
Aldridge & Beardsley
Peter Beardsley was signed by Kenny Dalglish for the 1987/89 season for a record £1.9 million pounds. He was joined by John Aldridge, another high profile signing from Oxford. With John Barnes and Ray Houghton (also two new acquisitions) supplying the service, the two formed an unstoppable partnership.
During that season Liverpool steamed to the title, but missed out on a historic double double after being pipped 1-0 in the FA Cup Final. Lawrie Sanchez and Wimbledon caused the greatest upset in FA Cup final history.
Beardo made 175 appearances and scored 59 goals for Liverpool. His greatest performance was a hat-trick against Manchester United in 1990.
Master marksman Aldo also created history in the 1988 FA Cup Final by becoming the first to miss a penalty in an FA Cup Final at Wembley – Dave Beasant also creating history by saving.
Aldridge scored 63 in 104 games and when Rushie returned from Juventus he became a spare part in the Liverpool machine. In an emotional farewell, Aldo came off the bench during the 9-0 massacre of Crystal Palace. Peter Beardsley handed him a penalty, which he despatched with ease. Alsdo threw his boots and shirt into the crowd at the end of the game.
Owen & Heskey
Throughout his career, Michael Owen has consistently referred to Emile William Ivanhoe Heskey as his number one foil. Indeed it has always been Big Emile’s unselfish play, aerial power, and the ability to make space by drawing away markers that has contributed to Owen’s purple patch for both Liverpool and England.
The duo consistently hit 30 plus goals during three fruitful seasons. 'Bruno’s' strength complimented Owen’s fast pace game and the result was bags of goals. Heskey’s most prolific season was 2000/01, the campaign in which Gerard Houllier’s men secured the treble of FA Cup, League Cup and UEFA Cup.
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.
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