Dirk Kuyt has hailed the impact of Craig Bellamy at Liverpool since the latter returned to the club last summer.

Bellamy signed for the Reds on deadline day in August after being released by Manchester City and has been one of Liverpool's finest players this season.

The Welsh veteran has netted nine goals and registered two assists during his second stint at Anfield and has attracted regular eulogies from his manager and teammates.

Kuyt is the latest to lavish praise on Bellamy, and believes the 32-year-old is a better player than he was when he first joined Liverpool from Blackburn Rovers almost five years ago.

“Craig has been unbelievable,” Kuyt told the Liverpool Echo.

“He came late in August and we did not pay a transfer fee.

“He has been a brilliant signing for us and looks even better now than he did the first time he came here.

“It’s not very often you can say that about a player who plays for a club in two spells.

“Usually the first time is better but this time, with Craig in better shape, he knows exactly what he can do and he’s really professional in training every day, not just helping himself but the whole of the squad.”

Bellamy and Kuyt will be vying for a staring berth when Liverpool face Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon.

However, all eyes will be on Luis Suarez as he faces Patrice Evra for the first time since his eight-match suspension for racially abusing the French full-back.

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