Liverpool striker Luis Suarez is a 'serious contender' to clinch the coveted Ballon d'Or next year ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, according to former Anfield favourite Dirk Kuyt.
Suarez has been in quite breathtaking form for the Reds so far this term having found the net on 23 occasions in the league alone, despite missing the opening five matches of the campaign through suspension.
The Uruguayan's domestic haul, coming in only 19 games, marks him out as the leading scorer across the most prominent divisions in Europe, one goal ahead of nearest challenger Ronaldo.
Suarez's goals have propelled Liverpool into the upper echelons of the Premier League and established the Red in the coveted top four positions, providing genuine hope they can end their spell out of the Champions League.
His performances led to speculation that a big-money transfer could be in the pipeline, but Suarez committed his future to the club by penning a new long-term contract worth £200,000-per-week.
Kuyt is certainly desperate to see the 27-year-old fire Liverpool back into Europe's top club competition once more, and the Dutchman believes the Reds have one of the continent's most accomplished players in Suarez.
"He's definitely, for me at the moment, at that level. What Ronaldo has done this year I think is amazing, [while] everyone knows the quality of Messi. But, after these two guys, I think he is a serious contender," Kuyt told reporters.
He added: "Liverpool are contending for the Champions League and this is the level where Suarez belongs, but also where Liverpool belongs. I can't wait to see Liverpool back in the Champions League together with Suarez. I think that will be the next step for both - for Liverpool and Suarez.
"It's frightening to watch how good he can be. For me, at the moment, he's the best player in the Premier League."