Liverpool Transfer Rumors: Could Dirk Kuyt Leave Liverpool for Galatasaray?

David Hendrick@@DaveHendrickTLWContributor IIIJanuary 3, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 20:  Dirk Kuyt of Liverpool looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on November 20, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Dirk Kuyt has been a mainstay in the Liverpool team since his arrival from Feyenoord in 2006 but this season he has found his place in the team under serious threat following the arrivals of Jordan Henderson and Stewart Downing.

Kuyt arrived at Anfield as a striker with a proven track record on the back of four consecutive seasons of at least 20 league goals for Utrecht and Feyenoord. He was seen by some as the answer to Liverpool's goal-scoring problems but it never quite worked out that way.

Having managed only 14 goals in his first season for Liverpool, Kuyt was converted to a right winger by then-manager Rafael Benitez. It was not a position that was entirely foreign to Kuyt, as he had played on the right of a three-man attack for the Dutch National team, but it was not a role that came naturally to him.

Never the quickest, and not blessed with great technical ability, Kuyt still managed to cement his place in the Liverpool team through hard work and determination coupled with an ability to be in the right place at the right time. Dirk Kuyt has never played a game for Liverpool in which he didn't give everything he had and because of it, the Liverpool fans fell in love with him. He also scored some hugely important goals for the Reds during his time at the club.

With each passing transfer window came rumours of Liverpool signing numerous players, but Liverpool fans were always of the belief that Kuyt was a guaranteed starter on the team because his work ethic was something that simply could not be replaced. The right wing simply didn't need messing with.

Until now, that is.

Following the arrivals of Henderson and Downing, Kuyt has spent more time on the bench than he would have liked, and while initially this was not popular with Liverpool fans, it has since become accepted because his performances on the field have dropped significantly. 

While he still gives 100 percent, he simply doesn't have the pace or the technical ability that is needed to perform on the right wing in Kenny Dalglish's revamped Liverpool. His productivity has dropped drastically, he has failed to score for Liverpool in 15 league matches this season and his passing has become more and more wayward.

In the second half of last season, Kuyt played a lot of his games in his natural striker role and proved himself an excellent partner for Liverpool's talismanic new signing Luis Suarez due to injuries to Liverpool's other big-money January buy Andy Carroll. 

With Carroll now fully fit and Dalglish reshaping the team, Kuyt has seen less opportunities upfront, and with his midfield position taken by one of the summer arrivals, he has often found himself as the odd man out on a number of occasions this season.

Kuyt will not be happy with this situation and, while he will continue to give his all for Liverpool, he will be aware that in order for him to retain his place in the Dutch squad for the 2012 European Championships he will need to be starting regularly for Liverpool. With the Reds rumoured to be in the market for both a striker and a winger in this month's transfer window, he is likely to drop further down the pecking order.

Inter Milan, amongst others, have been credited with interest in Kuyt in the past but that didn't come to fruition as Kuyt seemed, at the time, to be a certain starter for the Reds and declared his intentions to stay. Now that he is no longer an automatic starter it is to be expected that clubs will show an interest in him.

Metro have reported that Turkish giants Galatasaray could be prepared to offer £10million for the Dutchman although it is believed that Liverpool would look for closer to £15million.

Given Kuyt's age of 31, the decline in his performances and production, the fact that he is no longer a guaranteed starter for Liverpool and his want to represent his country in the upcoming European Championships, it may be best for all parties if Liverpool were to accept Galatasaray's offer.

While Liverpool fans would obviously be sad to see Kuyt go, the money brought in from his sale could be used to help bring in a much-needed defensive midfielder, winger or striker who can play a bigger role in the club's future than Kuyt is likely to.

It's obviously just speculation at the moment and it may come to nothing, but one thing is for certain: Whenever Dirk Kuyt does leave Liverpool, he will leave as a Kop Idol.