The first major transfer story of Brendan Rodger’s Anfield reign is the departure of Dirk Kuyt, who has left Liverpool to join Fenerbahçe in Turkey. Not that the new manager will have had any say in the matter, but as the popular Dutchman departs, it adds to the feeling that this is the dawning of a new era at Liverpool.
Everyone will have a favourite Dirk Kuyt moment; for many, the hattrick against Manchester United would be top of the Kuyt tree, and a late winner against the same opponents in the FA Cup in his final season will always be remembered fondly too.
On a personal level, to have been in the stand behind the goal when Kuyt put Liverpool into the lead during extra-time at this seasons Carling Cup final will live with me forever, whether he had ever played for the Reds again or not:
Whilst mere numbers will never do true justice to the impact Dirk Kuyt has had at Anfield, I have checked out his figures via the excellent LFCHistory.net to try to illustrate some of what he bought to Liverpool in his six seasons on Merseyside.
- Dirk Kuyt scored 71 goals in 285 appearances for the Reds; a return of one in four, despite often playing in right midfield.
- Kuyt scored an average of 11.8 goals per season at Liverpool, including goals in Champions League and League Cup finals.
- Dirk appeared in 208 of 227 possible league games (91.6%) during his time at Liverpool.
- He played at least 41 times in all competitions in every season he was at Anfield, peaking with 53 run-outs in 2009/10.
- Dirk faced 60 different teams for Liverpool, and scored against 36 of them.
- Kuyt scored 10 out of 12 penalties (including shootouts) for Liverpool, and both of his misses came this season.
- The Dutchman scored 12 goals in 40 Champions League appearances for the Reds, including goals against AC Milan, Inter, Arsenal and Chelsea.
- Kuyt scored one hattrick for Liverpool; it was to date the only one scored by a Red against Manchester United in the Premier League era.
- Dirk Kuyt made the 11th most appearances (208) and scored the 5th most goals (51) for Liverpool in the Premier League.
- Excluding extra-time periods, Kuyt scored 22 out of his 69 goals (or 31%) for Liverpool in the final 15 minutes of games, testament to his enduring stamina.
- Dirk Kuyt made 64 appearances for the Netherlands whilst at Liverpool, scoring 20 goals; only three players in the club’s history (Gerrard, Hyypia and Rush) have won more caps for their countries whilst playing for the Reds.
- In 2010, Dirk became only the third Liverpool player to appear in a World Cup final whilst at the club.
Thanks for the memories Dirk, and good luck in Turkey. You’ll Never Walk Alone, but then I’m sure you know that already.