JAMIE CARRAGHER believes Liverpool’s swoop for Craig Bellamy will prove to be a shrewd piece of business.
The 32-year-old Welshman became the Reds’ seventh summing signing when he arrived on a free transfer from Manchester City on deadline day.
Carragher played alongside Bellamy during his first spell at Anfield in 2006/7 and is delighted to welcome him back.
“It’s a great signing,” said the long-serving defender.
“I kept in contact with him when he first left. The longer it goes the less contact you keep with former players so it’ll be great to see him again.
“As a kid he always said he was a Liverpool fan and I think he was quite disappointed with how it finished, with how he left. He would have liked to have done a lot better and hopefully this gives him the chance to do that.
“For the last few years at Man City he has been excellent, not just as a striker but as a wide player.
“In the squad we’ve probably only got Stewart Downing as an out and out wide player. I think Craig prefers to play as a striker but he could certainly do that job for us.”
Carragher has also welcomed the increased competition for places at the back following the acquisition of Uruguay centre-back Sebastian Coates, who completed his £7million move from Nacional earlier this week.
“I haven’t seen a lot of him – little bits of highlights from the Copa America,” he said.
“But for Uruguay to win it was a great achievement and he got young player of the tournament. That shows he’s got great quality.
“You can’t think of yourself, you have to think of the club. One centre-back went so we needed another. Time will tell how good the lad is but his pedigree looks fantastic.
“It doesn’t look too big a price when you look at some of the prices for defenders now.
“He’s probably been brought up playing a different type of football than I have, a South American style, so maybe I can learn from him as well. It’s not always about the older players helping the younger.”
Bellamy, who signed a two-year deal, will line up for Wales against Montenegro tonight and his move to Anfield has received the backing of national team boss Gary Speed.
“Knowing Kenny Dalglish as I do I am sure he will get the best out of Craig,” Speed said.
“He is a great man and I think Craig will flourish there. It will help him to have his future sorted.”
Meanwhile, Lille have rejected reports that Liverpool have first refusal on signing their highly-rated Belgian winger Eden Hazard next summer as part of the deal which saw Joe Cole join the French champions on a season-long loan.
“There is absolutely nothing in that,” said Lille general manager Frederic Pacquet. “There is no link between Joe Cole and Eden. There has been no discussion.
“We know Eden Hazard is interesting some of the best clubs in Europe, but he is here and part of the project.”