Liverpool FC: The Return of Harry Kewell
The transfer window in England doesn't officially open until the first of January, so fans of Manchester United, Chelsea, and Arsenal may well be justified in asking how Liverpool have managed to add a world-class international winger in the middle of December.
The world-class player isn't a new signing—although you'd be forgiven for thinking so, because Harry Kewell is the epitome of the forgotten man.
In recent seasons, indeed from the moment he became one of Gerard Houllier's most important signings, Kewell has been plagued by almost absurd injury problems.
After scoring the most important goal in Australian history to get his team through to the second round of the World Cup, Kewell missed the next game and the vast majority of the following season. He's a player who the hard-to-please Rafa Benitez has started in three major Cup Finals...only to see him limp off shortly into all three games.
Benitez and Liverpool fans wouldn't have been blamed for cutting their losses on such damaged goods—but they didn't.
And Kewell's form upon his most recent return explains why not.
Kewell at his best is irreplaceable—an attacking player with the skill and vision to unlock any defence. He may lack some of his old pace, but he's still clever and confident enough to beat his man on the outside and deliver crosses into the box from the byline.
That's something that players like Ryan Babel and the frustrating Jermaine Pennant don't do enough of.
Experienced left-footers are notoriously hard to find. In Kewell, Liverpool have one of the best.
Kewell's link-up play is also excellent—he works well with both John Arne Risse and Fabio Aurelio on the left. The most tantalizing and exciting aspect of Kewell's return, though, is his chemistry with Fernando Torres.
Kewell has assisted on a number of Torres goals since his return—a trend this writer fully expects to continue.
Liverpool fans regularly aing Kewell's name at Anfield, usually to the tune of "Daddy, Daddy Cool."
Cool on the pitch he may be, but Harry Kewell has certainly put the heat back into Liverpool's title challenge.
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