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    Sunday, 3 January 2021

    Wijnaldum's Liverpool contract - Ryan Babel urges midfielder to change mind

    Ryan Babel has warned Gini Wijnaldum about contract delay that could see him leave Anfield next summer for free


    Gini Wijnaldum, over the months has been linked with a move to Barcelona after a contract renewal battle with Liverpool.

    Former Netherlands coach Ronald  Koeman - now in charge of Barcelona wants to sign Wijnaldum but Ryan Babel a fellow countryman and a former Liverpool forward has warned the 30-year-old midfielder about the risk of leaving Anfield --- as the former Reds claims he has regretted his own one-time departure.

    Babel, 34, who now plays for Turkish Super Lig club Galatasaray after a career spent in Holland, ­England, Germany, Spain and Abu Dhabi, says he still regrets forcing his departure from Liverpool in 2011.


    "I spent almost four years at Liverpool under Rafa Benitez and Kenny Dalglish," said Ryan Babel.

    "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.

    "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."

    Babel arrived with a big reputation in an £11.5m deal from Ajax in 2007. He left three-and-a-half years later, frustrated by a lack of game time.

    The former Liverpool forward added: “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."


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