They’re the summer’s most hotly-anticipated new release and one of the worst kept secrets in football, but today sees the official unveiling of Liverpool’s first kit by Nike.
Delayed by the Covid-19 inflicted Premier League hiatus, Nike’s first shirts for the champions of England return to a more vibrant scarlet shade of red and feature a teal coloured trim, in-keeping with classic Liverpool kits from the 1990s.
Nike had kept their most exciting new release on ice for months and looked on as their designs were repeatedly leaked and even put up for sale days before their official unveiling.
All this came after a high-profile court case allowed Liverpool to breakaway from New Balance and set-up shop with Nike.
All publicity is good publicity as they say.
The introduction of teal to the collar and cuffs of the Reds’ shirts was not a surprise, but has prompted those with shorter memories to question why the colour is being used on Liverpool’s kits?
Firstly, this is not the only time the cool blue-green hue has featured on a Liverpool home shirt.
Adidas’ used a teal-tinged trim in exactly the same way as Nike between 1993 and 1995, but as Liverpool could only lift the Coca-Cola Cup in those kits, sadly the tone does not carry the same lustre of glory as white or yellow do as a secondary colour to red.
Some suggest that the shade of green was introduced to the Anfield palette by former sponsors Carlsberg, but we reckon Candy and Adidas may have something to say about that.
After all, Carlsberg don’t make football shirts . . .
The truth is that teal has had a close association to the club’s badge since 1992, and to the city’s Liver Bird symbol which has featured on Reds’ shirts for more than 125 years.
Another charge leveled at Nike and Liverpool is that the first shirts of their multi-year partnership are, well, a little bit plain and boring.
Football shirts are always going to be a matter of taste and perhaps those who throw that charge expected yellow pinstripes, white flecks or any of the other Liverpool looks associated with silverware that were derided by many in their own day.
There were many who complained that last season’s New Balance strip in a far darker red, was clumsily finished due to the way the shirt’s design finished at the shoulders, but the link to Klopp, Salah, van Dijk, Henderson and the Reds’ first title for 30 years means that kit will always have a special place in Anfield folklore.
For what it’s worth, we love the insertion of a cool teal finish and the re-introduction of scarlet to Liverpool’s kit and think Nike’s shirts will fly out the door when Reds fans get the chance to snap them up.
As ever, the real acid test to how these shirts are remembered in years to come very much depends on how Jürgen Norbert Klopp’s men perform on the pitch.
Liverpool’s new shirts are available from Nike.com now and from all good sports retailers from 6th August.