Dirk Kuyt believes Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool have all the ingredients to finally deliver an elusive Premier League title, stating that the Reds’ current crop are a more complete outfit than the 2008-09 squad that were pipped to the top spot by Manchester United.
Kuyt turned out for a side managed by Rafa Benitez, who had guided the club to Champions League success in the 2004-05 season, and had looked strong contenders for success in the English top flight due to the plethora of world-class talent within the ranks.
Fernando Torres, Javier Mascherano and Steven Gerrard – who ended that season as the club’s top scorer with 24 goals in all competitions – gave fans plenty of hope in the title race, but bitter rivals United would once again emerge victorious under the stewardship of Sir Alex Ferguson.
Now, however, with Klopp having secured yet another Champions League title and a record points tally in the Premier League, Kuyt feels that the Merseyside club have found the missing piece of the puzzle in the search for domestic glory.
“We were very close to success,” Kuyt told Liverpool’s official website of the 2008-09 squad, “we just missed a small detail to go one step further.
“With the likes of Stevie [Gerrard] and Jamie Carragher, Mascherano, Torres and other very good players, we just missed a little something.
“If you see the build-up of the team of Klopp, you see it progressing every time and it looks like it’s now coming to success also in the Premier League. We were a particular team like that, only we couldn’t go one step further at that time.
“Hopefully this team will do it because, in my opinion, this team now on the pitch is even better than ours.”
Liverpool travel to Old Trafford on Sunday to face Manchester United, a fixture that fans of both sides look forward to each season due to the long-standing feud between the clubs.
Kuyt himself played a starring role in several of the heated clashes over the years and hopes his former side can notch another victory against their rivals this weekend.
“You can always feel the rivalry between Liverpool and United,” he said.
“We know the derby, Liverpool and Everton, is a massive game for the people in Liverpool. But Liverpool-United or United-Liverpool is one of the biggest games in England and I always loved to play in them, we had many good results back in the day.
“For me, the highs were the hat-trick against United and also a late winner in the FA Cup. I always really enjoyed those kinds of games.
“I always look forward to watching the game because it’s an absolute joy to watch Liverpool at the moment. These are special games and make you just a little bit more excited than the other games.”