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Liverpool and Arsenal set for showdown

50-50 Challenge
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Liverpool and Arsenal set for showdown

50-50 Challenge
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By ESPN Staff

Kuyt hopes for Gerrard stay

Dirk Kuyt was disappointed to see Rafael Benitez leave his post as Liverpool boss and hopes the Spaniard will not be followed out of Anfield by captain Steven Gerrard.

Benitez left Liverpool by mutual consent earlier this month to bring an end to a six-year tenure and Kuyt, whom Benitez brought to the club in 2006, admitted he would be forever thankful to the Spaniard for giving him his chance in English football.

"I was sad to see Rafa go," he told the News of the World. "He was the manager who brought me over to Liverpool and I think he is a great manager. He was very important for Liverpool. He won the Champions League and did wonderful things for the club.

"I would just like to thank Rafa for bringing me to Liverpool and making me the player I am now."

Following Benitez's departure there have been fears on Merseyside that Gerrard could follow him out of the club, with new Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho reportedly keen on luring a player he almost signed while he was with Chelsea.

That would be a major blow to Liverpool's hopes next season in the eyes of Kuyt, after they could only manage a seventh-place finish in the Premier League last term.

"I wouldn't like to see Stevie G go," he said. "Everyone wants to keep Stevie at the club. He is the captain of the team, he's very important and his heart is bleeding Liverpool, so it must be a very good offer or a very good club if he wants to leave.

"But I don't know what will happen. It's just up to him and the club. I have spoken to Stevie while I have been here. We wished each other all the best before the games started but we just talked about football and not his future."

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