Another weekend of Premier League action and another cracking Dirk Kuyt goal. Now who would have predicted that this time last season? Certainly not me and with good reason because his goal tally in the league last season was just five, managing 11 in all competitions for the Reds. So far this time around the Dutchman has already managed five in the league, seven in all competitions.
Kuyt’s transformation from potential big money flop to an invaluable part of the team has certainly been a steady one. Signed from Feyenoord in 2006 for £9million I must admit I thought Liverpool had bought yet another striker who wouldn’t cut it for them. The likes of El Hadji Diouf, Milan Baros and Vladimir Smicer had all arrived with big price tags and failed to improve Liverpool’s goal tally.
It’s always a fair assumption to make that players arriving from overseas will take some time to adapt to the English game. For example Cristiano Ronaldo wasn’t an instant success but he certainly has become one. It would be fair to say that the most important thing Kuyt did in his first season was to dispatch the penalty that put Liverpool through to the 2007 Champions League final.
Perhaps Kuyt had been resting on that one spot kick to keep the Liverpool fans on side for the next season. Signed as a striker the Dutch international was expected to bang in the goals but struggled and was instead deployed out on the right hand side of midfield. There is no doubting Kuyt’s work rate, as he seemed to endlessly sprint from one part of the field to another, but his end product was what was being called into question.
Those asking the questions became so loud that there were rumours that Hamburg were preparing to make a bid for the flying Dutchman in the summer. However Rafael Benitez is thought to be high on Kuyt based on his endless work rate and has stayed put for now.
Good thing to because Kuyt’s rich vein in form has co-inside with Liverpool’s sustained push for the Premier League title. The football odds on Benitez’s side lifting the Premier League trophy have been shorten, albeit the campaign still being in its early stages.
Kuyt had become known as a big game player but as he demonstrated against Bolton on Saturday the 28-year-old has become indiscriminate about who he scores against which will please all of those who cram into Anfield every other week.
Truth of the matter is that whilst Kuyt is having a good season so far he is certainly being helped by the team around him who are actually mounting a serious title challenge for the first time in along time. It’s an old cliché but Kuyt is part of a well oiled machine, which will continue to improve if the Dutchman keeps up his standard of performances.