What Ever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? He Can Save Arsenal: Babel
This season, it's very likely five teams will compete for the Champion's League places.
There are only four spots, and no matter how you look at it, Arsenal (in its current state) is the most likely to drop out of the top four.
The football world is waiting for Arsene Wenger to sign a replacement for Adebayor; it's likely to be Huntelaar. Instead Wenger should focus on replacing players who have never been replaced, such as Henry.
The sad truth is Wenger is probably content with his squad and may make a signing, but one we don't need.
Marco Van Basten once said, "Ryan Babel has all the potential to become the next Thierry Henry."
No two players are alike; there is a least a minimal difference between every player. However, the similarities are startling between Henry and Babel, physically and statistically.
Henry began his professional football career at Monaco, and then came to Juventus, where he struggled in form. Arsenal came in for Henry and the rest is history, the beautiful relationship came to an end in 2007, since then, Arsenal has never replaced Henry. The goals may have been spread around, but no one at the club has taken over in which the way Henry did.
Babel began his career at Ajax, and then moved to Liverpool and like Henry, he has struggled to find form at his second club. Babel like Henry, has stated that he wants to play under Wenger, at some point of his career.
The two players have a similar playing style and physical attributes.
They both like to cut inside from the left and take a shot on goal, they are graceful with the ball, and have supreme dribbling abilities, which is relatively rare for players who stand over six feet tall. Both players possess electric pace, a clinical eye for scoring, and possess great control of the ball.
Statistically, the two players share similar goals to game percentages. Henry at Monaco had 141 appearances, 28 goals (19.86 percent); Babel at Ajax had 101 appearances, 20 goals (19.80 percent); Henry at Juventus had 20 appearances, three goals (15 percent); Babel at Liverpool had 87 appearances, 14 goals (16.1 percent).
Statistics are not the best measurement of a player’s quality, but it does show the similarities between the two players.
Even at the International level, both Babel and Henry have tasted glory, winning the European Under-21 Championship and the latter winning both the Euros and World Cup by the age of 22.
In the European Under-21 Championship (2007), Babel announced himself, while the football world watched in awe as he and his compatriot Royston Drenthe took apart the competition.
Two years have passed and both players have not made a mark at their respective clubs. The most concerning thing is that Babel for all of his inconsistency at Liverpool, is a far superior player than one who spends most of his time on the bench.
Liverpool does not seem to be the right team for Babel, for all of his natural ability, there does not seem to be that trust from Rafa Benitez for Babel to express himself on the left wing. I genuinely believe if Babel is at the right team with the right manager, he can become one of the greatest players in the world.
The most ideal team for Babel is Arsenal, Arsenal should sign Babel. Both the player and the club need each other, Arsenal has been criticised by most people about its lack of silverware and the lack of new signings to replace players who have departed. Babel has been criticised by people for his inconsistency at Liverpool.
Arsenal needs to sign a striker and Babel should change clubs if he wants to cement his place in Holland's World Cup squad. Babel can fulfil his dream of playing for the club he watched, as a youngster in which he described as beautiful, and playing under the manger that would allow him to demonstrate his undoubted ability.
Wenger would also have some pressure lifted as this would be a step in the right direction and in the process weaken one of the other top four clubs in the form of Liverpool. The thought of Babel and Van Persie as a strike partnership must remind Gunners fans of the devastating combination of Henry and Bergkamp.
With a partnership such as this Arsenal would be a centre back and a defensive midfielder away from being considered one of Europe's strongest clubs, and would have enough firepower alone to challenge for trophies.
The fact is Babel can save Arsenal, but needs to be nurtured by Arsene Wenger so he can transform from the man of tomorrow into the man of today.
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