Ryan Babel has claimed be regrets the decision to exit Liverpool when he did.
Rafa Benitez bought Babel as an exciting young winger in 2007, the same year Fernando Torres arrived at Anfield.
During his first season, Babel made 49 appearances and scored ten goals – which is pretty decent for a youngster in a new league.
However, between 2008 and 2010, the next two seasons, he only managed ten more goals in total, and his role in Benitez’s side became a bit-part one.
Always outspoken, Babel has made plenty of comments about how he was treated unfairly in the past, but he now seems to have a far more matter of fact feeling about the situation.
“I went to Liverpool at a young age, but I played quite a lot in my first year. The club wanted to keep me, but yes, I was out of the picture with the Dutch national team. With the knowledge of today I know that I then I made a panic move to Hoffenheim,” he told Voetbol International,
“Now they are a respected, stable sub-elite club, who are around eleventh, twelfth in the table. Afterwards I should have stayed at Liverpool, I was not so bad at all there.”
After leaving Anfield, the Dutchman endured a tricky time in his career, actually playing an entire season in the UAE when he was 28 and supposedly at his peak!
But he’s now at Fulham, begrudgingly scoring a goal against Liverpool last weekend!
Thankfully, James Milner’s penalty saw us collect the three points at Craven Cottage, as missing out on the title due to a Virgil van Dijk mistake and a Babel tap-in would have been brutal.
Liverpool also have Gini Wijnaldum on the books right now, so have a strong Dutch contingent running through the team.
Dirk Kuyt is probably our most legendary Netherlands player, although van Dijk is on the road to surpass him – and some.
Less successfully, Bolo Zenden was an Anfield regular in the Benitez era, although he did play in a Champions League Final. We’ve also had Jan Kromkamp, Sander Westerveld and Erik Meijer – with youngster Ki-Jana Hoever making his debut this season to boot!