According to the Italian media, such as Gazzetta dello Sport and Tuttosport, the Dutch international, who has a strong working relationship with Benitez, is ‘almost certain’ to leave Liverpool, especially if manager Rafael Benitez is signed by the Old Lady.
This is not the first time Kuyt has been linked with a move to the Serie A giants, with reports emerging in January 2009 that former Juve manager Claudio Ranieri coveted the Liverpool forward, and was preparing a bid worth 30 million euros.
Kuyt’s agent, Karel Jansen, has not exactly dismissed the notion that his client could be on his way this summer. Jansen told Italian website Caliomercato.it.
“At the moment there is nothing.
“No-one has contacted me. Kuyt has an excellent relationship with Benitez, but it’s also true that he is well at Liverpool and has a contract there until 2012.
“I think it’s early to speak about the future.”
Whilst Kuyt is a popular figure at Liverpool, there would be few at the club that would be too despondent if he were to move on. Kuyt has now scored over 50 goals for Liverpool, and his goals for Liverpool in important matches has seen the Dutchman achieve near legendary status.
Kuyt was bought primarily as a goal scorer, but the player appears to lack the nous and technical ability to score prolifically in the Premier League. However, Kuyt is a work horse for Liverpool, and has patrolled the right hand side of midfield with distinction at times. In the Champions League especially, Kuyt’s ability to track back, win headers, and contribute to team moves has seen the player carve a career out for himself at Anfield, when on first impression, he was deemed not good enough by many at the club.
This term, Kuyt’s form, with that of the club, has been poor. Kuyt was never the quickest, but he is slowing down as age catches him up. Benitez favours a 4-2-3-1 formation, but this season, the lack of creativity owing to Xabi Alonso’s departure has arguably highlighted a lack of pace and inventiveness on the wings. Many supporters at Liverpool are crying out for a new left midfielder, and arguably, Kuyt’s position on the right could also be up for grabs next term, with Steven Pienaar most recently linked with Liverpool.
Kuyt has played well when moved into a central position this season, and could be a useful squad player owing to his flexibility. However, some argue Kuyt is simply not good enough for a team that’s wants to challenge for the title. Whilst he does pop up with important goals in big matches and his hold up play can be impressive, his first touch is so poor that his second is often a header or a tackle. He is slow on the turn, and lacks the pace to beat a player out wide. He has already proven himself incapable of scoring enough goals to warrant a place in the starting line-up as a centre forward, and so perhaps it would be better for Liverpool to cash in on the player while they still can?
Kuyt is by no means a poor player. Even this term, where especially in the first half of the season he was lambasted from pillar to post at Anfield for his poor form, Kuyt has still scored vital goals, his strikes against Spurs and Everton illustrative of this point. However, Liverpool are in need of change, and whilst Kuyt still does a job for the team, his sale could be necessary if Liverpool are to bring in the pace and invention on the wing that is so obviously necessary.
Kuyt is a hero on the Kop, and his hard work for the Reds has been admirable over his four seasons in the North-West. After a disappointing season for all at Liverpool however, the winds of change are coming at Anfield. Perhaps it is time for Kuyt to heed the call…
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