When Dirk Kuyt arrived on Merseyside in the summer of 2006, the Liverpool fans had high expectations of him, expecting him to fill the boots of the likes of Michael Owen and Robbie Fowler, as he was known to be a clinical finisher in front of goal.
Known as the "Blonde Bombshell", Kuyt scored an impressive 36 goals with his previous club Feyenoord, making him the country's top scorer.
Kuyt signed for Liverpool on August 18, 2006 and left Feyenoord with a record of 83 goals in 122 appearances. The new boy made his debut as a substitute against West Ham, and although he didn't score, the lad put on a performance that got the nod of approval from the Kop.
Kuyt's first season at Anfield was seen as a success, but many fans argued that Dirk Kuyt lacked the creativity and togetherness of a top striker. The lack of goals for Liverpool seemed to put him out of favour with the fans, however Rafa Benitez had always shown faith in him, and was re-payed when he found a new and improved position for Kuyt that showed his selflessness and versatility on the pitch.
Kuyt was deployed as a right winger by Rafa and this proved to be a fantastic move as Kuyt proved to be one of the most hardworking attackers in the game. With the arrival of Fernando Torres, a proven goalscorer, pressure was taken of Kuyt to score goals as he could focus on his new position.
His hard work on the right wing did not go unnoticed, as Holland coach Marco Van Baaasten began deploying him in the same position as he had noticed the incredible change in Kuyt's game.
With big names such as Torres, Gerrard, and Keane in the Liverpool squad, many times a performance such as Dirk Kuyt's goes unnoticed. Kuyt has scored many priceless goals, such as the goals against Marseille, Inter Milan, and Arsenal that helped the Reds reach another Champions League semifinal.
The 2008-09 season has seen Dirk Kuyt score when it has most mattered yet again, netting a crucial winner against Standard Liege in the Champions League qualifiers.
Overall, Dirk Kuyt's performance has been more than pleasing at Liverpool, a workhorse with a knack for scoring in the most crucial games. I believe Kuyt's performances will just go from strength to strength, as he has found a position perfectly suited for him.