No matter what happens, we are all going to have different opinions on who is Liverpool’s best defender.
Some may argue that it’s Alan Hansen, some may say it is Carragher and some will say van Dijk. There is no right or wrong answer really, but I do believe that Sami Hyypiä should be added to the mix.
Who was Sami Hyypiä?
Hyypiä is another of Liverpool’s players who was worth more than originally valued. Signed in 1999 from Willem II, the Finnish defender joined Liverpool for £2.6 million. He would then cement his place in the hearts of many fans, as he proved his loyalty to the club for a decade.
Hyypiä had been an integral part to the Liverpool defence, making 318 Premier League appearances for the club. Out of all those games, the 45 year-old managed to keep 125 clean sheets and concede 45 goals (Premier League stats). He would always be Houllier and Benitez’s first pick centre back, as his 76% success rate in tackles seemed to calm and compose the defence. Its not surprising that Hyypiä captained the team in 2002 and 2003.
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The ex-defender also left a legacy at Liverpool, being one of club’s most decorated defenders. As well as winning “Footballer of the year” nine times, he helped the Reds win: 3 FA Cups, 3 UEFA Super Cups, a Champions League title and 2 League cups.
Why should he be considered Liverpool’s best central-defender?
1) His defensive impact
Similar to van Dijk, the Finnish centre-back was brought in with the intention of improving the Liverpool defence.
In 1998/99 campaign, Liverpool showed a weakness when they continued to leak goals, conceding 49 goals and keeping eight clean sheets. However, Hyypiä’s first season at the club saw only 30 goals conceded and fifteen clean sheets (Premier League stats). All Premier League games he was involved in, Hyypiä managed to not let the opposition score past him.
2) His offensive impact
It’s a gift if you can find a defender who can play just as good on the defence, but we found one in Hyypiä. Not only did he score a cracking goal against Juventus in the 2005 semi-final, but he achieved a milestone by scoring 22 goals and gaining 8 assists. This has marked him as one of the “Top scoring defenders in the Premier League”.
Whether he’s the best defender or not, you can’t deny that he is an absolute legend.