Liverpool’s Babel character, is he a mystery or what? He seems to be top of the list in Benitez’s traditional 65th-70th minute substitute appearances. Whenever Babel does get a chance to put on the red shirt he can do with frustration or edge of the seat stuff.
Apart from his main asset- his pace- he has scored a few crackers in his time with Liverpool.
Unfortunately for Babel he is seen as a player who is generally out of favour, but when he does impress he shows some real promise. Because of the fact that there is clearly some talent there he is one of those players that need an arm around the shoulder, a bit of nurturing. The only thing is Rafa Benitez does not seem like that type of manager.
Due to Liverpool’s season being such a topsy-turvy one where it looked like they might not even finish fifth, let alone fourth, the scrutiny on every player has increased. Babel is more under the radar because he has the ingredients to become a top player- something not all of Liverpool’s squad possess. A lot gets mentioned about how Babel needs a run of games that last the full 90 minutes. Maybe Benitez has seen something in training that we are missing. Can he handle a full 90 minutes?
Babel’s abject displays on the left-wing will surely have left fans wondering whether signing him was a mistake. An example for Babel to follow is his Dutch colleague Dirk Kuyt. When Kuyt came to Merseyside he was expected to score goals. Who would have thought that he would turn in to a more than useful right-winger? After being at Anfield for a sufficient amount of time now, it remains doubtful that Babel has it in him to show Benitez that he can ‘do a Kuyt’.
Because Babel has the ability to take defenders on, he tries to do one trick too many and ends up losing the ball far too frequently. Which leads me to wonder, would it be worth it if Babel was to be tried out as a striker? Having occasionally been employed there it might be something to ignite his Liverpool career. After all, it would cut out his ineffective wing displays and he would be in a position to receive the ball in a far more dangerous area where he could put that lethal right-foot to better use.
Whatever happens with Babel, he is one of those Marmite men in football right now. Time looks to be running out for him but you get the feeling he could be part of a summer clear-out at Anfield.
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