Craig Bellamy
Liverpool's Bellamy celebrates his goal against Aston Villa during their English Premier League match in Birmingham. REUTERS

Mark Lawrenson has credited Craig Bellamy's admiration for Kenny Dalglish as one of the major factors behind the Welshman's superb form this season.

The 32-year-old returned to Anfield on a free transfer in the summer having initially left Liverpool in the July 2007, and in doing so he has defied the perpetually negative press regarding his attitude, to prove a hugely shrewd bit of business by Dalglish.

Lawrenson has been so impressed with Bellamy, the former Liverpool stalwart, who won five league titles during his Anfield career, suggests the occasionally maligned forward is "as good a signing as any" in the Premier League this season.

The Match of the Day pundit believes the presence of Dalglish, a man Bellamy openly admits to idolising as a youngster, has been integral to striker's seamless transition back at Liverpool this season. Whilst his former spell at the club was all too often accompanied by negative headlines, the Liverpool forward has been regularly championed as a model professional in and around Melwood this season.

Lawrenson intimates Bellamy's understanding of the traditions and ethos of Liverpool as well as an eagerness to please his manager has shone through thus far, and his performances have already suggested the club were right to bring him back.

"THE Premier League may not quite be at the halfway mark, but Liverpool FC striker Craig Bellamy has already proven to be as good a signing as any in the top flight this season." The aforementioned Anfield hero told the Liverpool Daily Post.

"Many people said it was a bit of a gamble, but given he was available on a free transfer, for me it was a bit of a no-brainer. Bellamy's ability has never been in question. For Liverpool FC, it was just a case of trying to get the best out of him.

"He had been at the club before, so he knows how it works. And given his admiration for Kenny Dalglish, it's no surprise to see him making such a big impact.

Speaking about Bellamy's superb individual effort during Liverpool's victory at Villa Park, Lawrenson concluded: "He forces defences back with his pace and aggression and makes chances for his team-mates."