Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Ryan Babel is told he can leave Anfield

Today’s Daily Post is stating that “Ryan Babel could become the first high-profile casualty of Rafael Benitez’s summer shake-up after being told he can leave Liverpool.”

The article goes on to say: “Babel’s agent Winnie Haatrecht met with the Anfield manager to discuss the player having a more prominent first-team role next season. Benitez, though, was unable to offer such guarantees and has informed the Holland international he may now speak to other clubs during the transfer window. That is likely to spark a chase for Babel, who became the third-most expensive player in Liverpool’s history when arriving for £11.5million from Ajax in July 2007. Liverpool will want to recoup of much as that fee as possible, with Babel likely to command a price tag of around £8m.”

The article adds: “Ajax, who yesterday appointed Martin Jol as new coach to succeed Marco van Basten, are thought eager to re-sign Babel but could be put off by the asking price and the player’s wages. Babel is also certain to attract interest from Italy and Spain, with Benitez open to the possibility of using the 22-year-old as a makeweight to facilitate a possible big-money transfer. Tottenham Hotspur, Aston Villa and Arsenal have all been linked with a summer move for Babel and could make any interest formal.”

Clearly Benitez means business and wants his summer transfer activity completed as quickly as possible. The story states “Babel has scored 14 goals in 91 appearances for Liverpool. However, only 42 have been in a starting role – a mere six coming this calendar year – with the Dutchman having completed the full 90 minutes on just 15 occasions. With Benitez needing to generate funds to supplement his existing transfer budget, the Spaniard is keen to swiftly move on those players who no longer form part of his plans.”

Unfortunately Babel, who initially showed much promise in his first season, has been one of the most disappointing in this campaign. He has appeared lazy and uninterested. One could argue he needed more regular starts, but this hasn’t undeterred other players who where in the same position as him. Yossi Benayoun fought his way into the starting eleven after a disappointing start to the season and finished the campaign in sizzling form, terrorising defences and scoring valuable goals. It is clear that Babel has lost his confidence at Liverpool and a recuperation of his massive fee would probably be best for both parties. One fears however, Babel could recapture his potential at another team and turn into the player we all thought he could become with Liverpool.

Speaking about the ongoing dilemma with Sebastian Leto, the article says: “Benitez also wants to solve the work permit problem for Argentine winger Sebastian Leto, who has spent the last season on loan to Greek club Olympiacos. “We will try to work something out, I do not want him to go,” said the Liverpool manager. The reasons for refusing the permit were his lack of international and club experience. Benitez was critical of that decision, but is likely to sell Leto if the permit is refused once again.”

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