When he joined Liverpool in July 2007, many saw Ryan Babel as a star of the future. The former Ajax midfielder was a hot prospect for the future of Dutch football, with many believing Liverpool acquiring the midfielder as a massive coup for the club.
Fast-forward five years and oh how times have changed. According to the Daily Mail, Babel could be on the move to Fulham this summer from Hoffenheim (who he joined in January 2011) after disagreements with his manager, former Liverpool defender Markus Babbel.
Yet whether this is a good move for Fulham is a difficult question to answer. During spells at Liverpool and in Germany, Babel was never able to recapture the form of his Ajax days. The attacking midfielder has only scored 17 goals in his last 137 appearances for both sides, scoring only five during his time at Hoffenheim. Whether he poses enough of an attacking threat to warrant a Fulham move could be questionable.
However I would take a chance on the 25-year-old. Coming out of Ajax his talent was certainly evident, from his raw pace to his deft touch. Such talents have not vanished they have simply not been employed and exploited properly. Under Martin Jol’s developing system Babel may shine in a freer attacking role.
There is no doubt that Babel possesses talent. The question is whether Martin Jol is the right man manager for the job. In order to get the best out of the Dutch midfielder, the Fulham boss will have to quell the 25-year-olds ego and help smooth out the edges as he continues to develop.
In conclusion it is a toss up as to whether a move to Fulham could work. His talent is certainly there and in a Martin Jol system Babel could flourish with his pace and deft touch. The real challenge will be the mental battle between the manager and midfielder. If Jol can help quell Babel’s ego and smooth out the rough edges of his game, then Fulham could get themselves the player Liverpool thought they had acquired from Ajax.
Only if Jol can motivate Babel, help his work ethic and his attitude towards the game. And that’s a big if.Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!