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Ryan Babel Admits Liverpool Regrets, in Warning to Gini Wijnaldum

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The grass isn’t always greener

Holland v Spain -International Friendly Photo by Eric Verhoeven/Soccrates/Getty Images

Ryan Babel is a strange one.

His talent was obvious, but we never really saw it consistently. He then all but disappears for years after leaving Anfield, before becoming a useful player in the twilight of his career.

If only he could’ve figured it out sooner. And it seems to be a regret of his,

“I spent almost four years at ­Liverpool under Rafa Benitez and Kenny Dalglish.

“When I left to go and play in Germany, where TSG ­Hoffenheim had become a big force, it was to become the ­biggest regret of my career”, Babel told The Mirror.

“The only reason I left was because I wanted to have more playing minutes to keep my place in the Holland team.

“But you don’t realise how dominating the playing style is at Liverpool until you play in a different team and league.

“I was brought up with really attacking football at Ajax. In the academy, you learn to play that way. When I moved to ­Liverpool, it was exactly the same. It is in the DNA of the club to play attacking football.

“I loved every ­minute I was at Liverpool. ­Fortunately, Dirk Kuyt was at Liverpool and he was a massive support to me.

“As a Liverpool player you are always in the spotlight. The club is massive.

“Scoring the winning goal against Manchester United at Anfield was the highlight of my time.”

Look, I put the obvious comparison to Gini Wijnaldum in the headline because everyone else did. But it’s kind of a sad human story more than anything. Babel is someone who could and should have achieved a lot more at Anfield. Wijnaldum will have his name sung after he leaves, but Babel won’t.

And honestly, that’s too bad.