Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard admits he never wanted Craig Bellamy to leave Anfield and is pleased the striker has returned for a second spell.

The 32-year-old Wales international signed a two-year deal on deadline day having come to an agreement with Manchester City over the final year of his contract. Bellamy spent just 12 months with the Reds, having originally been signed by Rafael Benitez, before leaving in 2007.

"I'm delighted that Craig is back - I didn't want him to leave in the first place," Gerrard said. "That pace and the fiery character he's got will help us in our push for success this season."

He addedL "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.

"What people need to realise is that Craig is a top professional. He works really hard day in, day out.

"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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Topics:
Internationals
Football
Manchester City
Craig Bellamy
Premier League
Steven Gerrard
Liverpool