Welcome back to The Greatest Transfers which, by this point, you should know what’s going on here. As ever, if you want to catch up then here are the links to the honourable mentions and numbers 15, 14, 13 and 12.
That brings us up to number 11 this week and it’s one of the modern-day cult heroes at the club who some may even called a legend. He’s scored in a Champions League final and League Cup final as well as bagging dramatic and important goals in his six years at the club. That man is of course none other than our favourite ageless Dutchman, Dirk Kuyt.
After making his name in the Eredivisie by scoring bags of goals for Utrecht and then Feyenoord, Rafa Benitez decided that Kuyt was the man he needed to help solve Liverpool’s striking issues. The previous two seasons had seen Liverpool’s forwards struggle in front of goal – Milan Baros was talented but frustratingly wasteful; Peter Crouch took about five decades to score his first goal for the club while Djibril Cisse was erratic and was never a Rafa signing in the first place.
Liverpool paid a reported £9 million to sign Kuyt in the summer of 2006 and got a player that was relentless in his work. He instantly became a favourite of the Anfield faithful and his first season was a good one, hitting 14 goals in all competitions. He even scored in the Champions League final but it wasn’t to be in the end. Kuyt’s second season was far less successful as the arrival of Fernando Torres and some poor performances meant he was in and out of the side. Part of this may be attributed to the death of his father but his hard work never stopped and he was crucial towards the back end of the season as Liverpool went on a deep run in the Champions League again.
Kuyt’s re-emergence in the Liverpool side was now as a relentless right winger and he was a crucial part of the side as Liverpool went close to the title in 2008/09. He would continue to be a regular in the side as Liverpool’s fortunes changed. Kuyt always kept working hard and had a knack for scoring important goals. Champions League semis, late winners in derbies and more made Kuyt one of the most dependable and beloved players in the Liverpool side.
As the club began to flounder, Kuyt remained a constant throughout and kept on delivering memorable moments. Who will ever forget his hat trick against Manchester United at Anfield in 2011 with a combined distance of about three inches? Or his goal in extra time in the League Cup final against Cardiff? Said final would see Kuyt win his only trophy at Anfield, a rather heartbreaking fact in hindsight.
The Dutch star would leave the club in 2012 for Fenerbahce in Turkey but still retains a lofty status in the hearts and minds of Liverpool fans. He was and still is passionate about the club and regularly visits when he can. In his six years at Anfield, Dirk racked up 285 appearances and 71 goals which is a solid record for someone who spent five of those six years on the right wing.
For his passion, commitment and endless energy, Dirk Kuyt makes it onto our list at number 11. We enter the top ten next week with a striker that set Anfield alight before torching his own reputation.