'People called me lazy' – Former Liverpool striker tears strips out of Benitez management
By Laura O’Leary
Ryan Babel has opened up about his Liverpool career revealing he felt “left out” from the start under Rafa Benitez.
In an interview with The Independent, the now 30-year-old shared his disappointment over how Benitez managed him when he joined Liverpool from Ajax.
He said: “He promised me certain things at this time to help me develop which I thought was the same as Ajax but at a different pace.
“But from the start I felt basically left out, by myself, no help and that was of course very difficult for a 20-year-old.
“When I look back I could have done things differently but at the same time I also think I could have got more guidance from the coaches.”
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The striker, who is more often than not utilised as a left winger for current club Besiktas, spent four years at Anfield.
In those four years, he made 91 appearance for the Reds but only 31 of those were league starts.
The then 20-year-old did manage to grab 12 goals in his time with Liverpool.
Babel admits that making the jump to the England from Holland at only the age of 20 was huge, and further help settling in and understanding the new formation he was required to play would have improved his Liverpool career.
He explained: “Not all players are able to settle in directly from day one, I remember even Van Persie needed two, three years but he became Van Persie.
“The difference is I think Wenger actually helped him develop and gave him time.
“So I wish I just had more help to adapt and improve that, by the third year, fourth year it was too late and people called me lazy, all kinds of names.”
The Dutch midfielder left Liverpool in 2011 and has featured for a host of clubs since. He has played for 1899 Hoffenheim, Ajax in a second spell, Kasimpasa, Al Ain, Deportivo La Coruna before joining Besiktas earlier this year.
The 30-year-old has been in stellar form for his current club this season, playing 13 times, scoring five goals and grabbing two assists.
In other Liverpool news, Jurgen Klopp may make changes against Maribor