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Former Liverpool Fan Favourite Admits That He Almost Joined Tottenham Before Making Anfield Switch

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Dirk Kuyt of Liverpool flying tackles Phil Neville of Everton during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Liverpool at Goodison Park on October 20, 2007 in Liverpool, England.

Former Liverpool forward Dirk Kuyt spent six seasons in English football, a time which elevated him to becoming one of the fan favourites at Anfield. It was a recognition of his immense hard work, not the number of goals, put in by the Dutchman in various positions. Even though he only managed to lift the League Cup and scored less than one goal in three games, the adulation he received from the supporters was second to none. Spurs may have benefited from his immense work rate had it not been for the player turning down the move to North London before joining Liverpool.

Kuyt has revealed that Spurs were the first English club to show interest in him during the summer of 2005. Since joining Feyenoord in the 2003-04 season, Kuyt made steady progress in terms of scoring goals and his efforts did not go unnoticed. He had just scored 36 goals in 44 appearances for the Dutch outfit and Spurs were looking to sign him. The striker says that he felt that the move came a little too soon and he turned it down as a result. As quoted by the Mirror (via Fourfourtwo), the Dutchman said:

“A year before I left for Liverpool, I had the opportunity to go to Tottenham Hotspur. But it was on the last day of the transfer window and at that time I did not want to leave Feyenoord.

“Liverpool was the most interested club after that, although the negotiations lasted a while. Other clubs were interested, such as Atlético Madrid.”

Liverpool eventually signed the player in the summer of 2006 when they were under the management of Rafa Benitez. The striker is believed to have moved for a fee of around £18 million, which was one of the expensive transfers for Liverpool at that time. Yet, he became a major disappointment in terms of personal returns after scoring just 14 goals in 48 appearances in his first season at the club. Kuyt’s goals to game ratio never saw an improvement throughout his time at Liverpool. His best season was in the 2010-11 campaign when he scored 15 goals in 41 appearances.

Tottenham did not make any major signings in the forward department in that season. Jermaine Jenas was the only big arrival in the summer of 2005 as he moved from Newcastle United in a €15 million deal. By the time Kuyt had made up his mind to move to England, Spurs brought in the Dimitar Berbatov from Bayer Leverkusen for a similar £18 million fee. It is unlikely that Spurs would have any regrets about missing out on the signing of Kuyt. His work rate was the only thing missing from Berbatov, but the Bulgarian more than made up for this absence by scoring 23 goals in his first campaign at the club.

Berbatov was also able to repeat the figure in his subsequent campaign before joining Manchester United for just over £30 million. After six seasons at Anfield, Kuyt left the club for Turkish outfit Fenerbahce for around £1 million.

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