Friday, September 11, 2009

Rafa wants Babel to stay put at Liverpool

Desperate to claim a place in the Netherlands' World Cup squad, Liverpool midfielder Ryan Babel has asked for a transfer back to his former club Ajax, only to be rebuffed by his manager Rafa Benitez.

"I will talk to Ryan," said Benitez, who seems unwilling to temporarily part with a player he invested £11.5 million in two years ago. "But I do not want him going on loan; he needs to work and fight for his place here."

The 22-year-old midfielder, who has played just 82 Premier League minutes this season for the Reds, is not happy about the frequency with which he finds himself on the bench and has urged Benitez to loan him out in order to ensure more playing time leading up to next year's World Cup.

Holland coach Bert van Marwijk has stressed that his players must see regular time on they pitch if they are to be considered for South Africa.

"You have to be top at every level. It's good when their players play at a level that is as high as possible," van Marwijk told Sky Sports News. "When you play three games in half a year, you can't have your normal level."

Ajax boss Martin Jol is hesitant about taking the disgruntled speedster on loan, although he is not entirely opposed to the possibility.

"I read the interview with Babel, but I am not sure what to think about it," he told De Telgraaf. "I will not seriously consider loaning Babel from Liverpool until he calls me to discuss such a move. I will think about it if a loan deal turns out to be a realistic opportunity."

Babel recently criticized Benitez for consigning him to the substitutes' bench, accusing the former Valencia manager of being less than forthcoming when convincing him to stay at Anfield.

"There were all sorts of assurances and promises from the club but they have not kept them," said Babel. "I should get more playing time but after the first defeat of the season I was the only one who was singled out - and I lost my place."

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