Persie, Robben, Sjnieder, Drenthe, Vaart and Huntelaar are all potentially great players but in Ryan Babel, Liverpool have the one Dutch player who will without a shadow of a doubt take the world by storm.
Described as the next Thierry Henry by Van Basten and still only 20 years of age, the Liverpool winger is the youngest ranking member (no:17) on the list of the 20 most commercially valuable players in the world (ahead of Andrei Shevchencko) last year and the fourth youngest player to ever score for the senior national team, there will be no stopping him.
Consistently players are labeled as bargains of the season such as Pizzaro, Santa Cruz, Voronin, McCarthy etc. but Babel really is a snip for Liverpool at £11.5m. Man of the Match in the final of the 2007 Euro U-21 Championships, Babel really can be the best player in the world for a long time to come. He can play on either wing, up front or as a second striker. He is very direct, skillful, fast, electric and explosive.
Combined with his aggressiveness and strength Babel has already taken to the Premiership like a duck to water. Mark Lawrenson has already been quoted in the Liverpool Echo that Babel is very reminiscent of the great John Barnes. This was clearly seen with the goal he scored against Derby. Babel has class, guile, flair, movement and close control in abundance.
The big advantage he has over Robben is that he is not injury prone and at Liverpool under Benitez post 06/07 he will be able to play to a system based on attack.
Each Dutch player aforementioned have certain assets, for example while Persie has skill, pace and guile he doesn’t have the strength and aggression to go with it. In Ryan Babel Liverpool have a player who has all these features to his make up, which in turn gives him the greatest potential to realise over the next few years. In the future there will not be a weakness to his game.
Ryan Babel wasn’t being over confident when he said he would be better than Henry one day and all that’s left to say is that we’re already seeing the signs.
Arsenal were interested in Babel for quite a while but their loss will be Liverpool’s gain.