Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard has revealed his delight at the return of Welsh international Craig Bellamy.
The striker signed a two-year deal at Anfield on deadline day, four years after leaving the club following a season under the stewardship of Rafael Benitez.
Despite having a number of options reportedly on the table, the former Manchester City forward opted for a return to Merseyside, and Gerrard has revealed he never wanted the player to leave the club in the first place.
"I'm delighted that Craig is back - I didn't want him to leave in the first place," the club captain told the official Liverpool website.
"That pace and the fiery character he's got will help us in our push for success this season.
"When he was here before he was popular and one of the hardest working in training. He was always in the gym getting himself in good shape."
Questions have been raised in the past over the temperament of the fiery 32-year-old, who made his first senior appearance 15 years ago with Norwich City.
However, Gerrard is full of praise for the attitude and work-ethic of his team-mate, and is confident Bellamy will be out to impress manager Kenny Dalglish in training on return from international break.
"What people need to realise is that Craig is a top professional. He works really hard day in, day out," he continued.
"He's very knowledgeable about the game and I know even though he's slightly older than me he will still want to learn and do well here.
"I'm sure he will be desperate to play for Kenny. He will have watched Liverpool from the outside like me in recent months and seen a lot of positive things. He will be excited to come back and we're glad to have him back."
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