It’s crunch time for the talented Dutchman.
Liverpool winger Ryan Babel admits he may have to consider a loan move to former club Ajax in January to boost his World Cup hopes.
Babel has struggled to make a sustained impact since joining Liverpool from Ajax two years ago and was recently challenged to take his game up a level by manager Rafa Benitez.
The Holland international started the Reds’ opening match of this season against Tottenham, but has subsequently made just one late substitute’s appearance in the defeat by Aston Villa.
The 22-year-old is unhappy with his limited outings so far this term and believes promises have been broken.
“There have been a lot of things promised, but they haven’t been followed up,” Babel told De Telegraaf.
“I would get to play for more minutes and have more chances, but after the first defeat, I only lost my place.”
A return to Ajax has been mooted and Babel believes a temporary deal in the January transfer window could provide his best chance of securing a place in Holland’s squad for next summer’s World Cup.
He added: “I think half a season at Ajax with a view to the World Cup wouldn’t be a bad idea. I can add something to the Ajax squad.
“Loaning me out was not an option (in the summer). Now we have agreed to review the situation in January.
“I see the current situation as a signal that I really have to get playing.” (Sky Sports)
OK, so I can kind of see his point but he won’t get more pitch time until he actually does something of note whilst wearing the beloved Liverpool colours. He is kind of moaning about not getting what he was promised in the way of first team action but then he failed abysmally at White Hart Lane and was then replaced by Yossi for a couple of games and then Albert.
A loan move to Ajax may well suit all parties and if by January he still feels the same way then Rafa has little to lose in letting him try his luck back in his native Holland. By that time it will become clear just what type of future the talented, but frustrating, attacker has at the club.
I can understand why he wasn’t allowed to pursue the move in the transfer window that just closed, clearly we are a little thin across the field in terms of our squad depth and to let any first team squad regular leave would have been a mistake.
Now it’s Ryan’s chance to take the next few months to prove himself to the boss and the fans. We all know what he is capable of and now he just needs to go out there and show us consistently that he has what it takes to turn his Anfield career around.