Potential—that’s what Ryan Babel started off with in 2007 when Rafael Benitez signed him for a hefty $11.5 million. Such a fee would only go to a well deserved player, one would think. Maybe the 22-year old should have stuck with rapping, judging by the impact he’s had on Liverpool FC since he has joined the team.
With things going downhill for Liverpool since the start of the season, each player's every move has been scrutinized, and every one of them looks vulnerable. The team cannot afford any more mistakes if they wish to stay anywhere in contention.
Ryan Babel had it easy last season, but with each faltering step of Liverpool, his exit is drawing closer, leading us to the question—is Ryan Babel another Rafa signing gone bad?
Often, it has been said that Babel would have been great if he were given enough time, thus putting the blame on manager Rafael Benitez. One might argue that Benitez, having seen Babel play during practice, felt that he would not be able to handle a full 90 minutes for Liverpool, but desperate times call for desperate measures.
Benitez started Ryan Babel against Manchester City, hoping a change would make them victorious. However, just 20 minutes into the game, Ryan Babel left the pitch injured, and Liverpool ended up with a draw.
One can only hope that the start of the new year not only brings a run of good luck for Liverpool, but some good new signings too. Not another Rafa-like 50 percent good, 50 percent bad, and 100 percent profit loss coming out of Liverpool FC yet again.
How long can the likes of Gerrard, Carragher, and Torres keep Liverpool away from unfortunate losses?
Yossi Benayoun has undoubtedly been a strong player this season, but even he was struck with injury worries and could not pull the team out of its miserable run. How many seasons can we start off by saying “This is our season” and end it with “Better luck next time?”
Ryan has the ability to be a fantastic young player, but he needs to be fit and in form. He has had some very good games in the Champions League and even against Manchester United in the premiership.
With the Liverpool side seeming to lack the spark it had last season, players like Lucas and Babel need to prove themselves and help the club get through seemingly bad times.
Many critics have been saying that the loss of Alonso has had a huge effect on the team. Alonso played a fantastic defensive midfield role for the club but also provided key passes and scored some terrific goals. He is a very hard player to replace, even with fantastic performances from players like Benayoun and Mascherano, both of whom are making up for the loss of such a world class player.
The question right now, following Liverpool’s exit from the Champions League is, are players like Babel and Lucas going to show Liverpool fan's why they’ve been signed?
Or are they going to find themselves playing for a different club very soon?
Does Liverpool have a chance of making the top three this season, or is their Premier League run going to be just as unlucky as their Premier League history?