Ryan Babel: Is he worth all the hype?

Lawrie Brand follows on from recent comments on the Liverpool Podcast and discusses whether Ryan
Babel is worth the price that Liverpool paid
for him.

We had a
discussion on a recent Liverpool FanCast about Ryan Babel. Is the Dutch winger
worth all the hype? Rich and I came out of it with differing opinions. I
believe Babel is good enough and is one who can
take Liverpool to the next level, but Rich was
a little sceptical about his potential.

Babel is obviously a very talented individual. He's 21 years of age with 22
international caps to his name already, scoring on his international debut.
Although naturally right footed, he is assured with both feet when going
forward. His career started at Ajax aged just 17
after coming through the famous Ajax
academy. He has featured in all of Holland's
youth teams, including the under 21's where he made a big impact in last years
European Championship, scoring in the final where he was named man of the

Babel is
employed out wide for Liverpool but in last
year's Under 21 Championships he was the lone target man, where he shone on the
big stage – performances like such being the reason we signed him and now many
fans want to see him partnering Torres up front. This is definitely another
option for Benitez should Crouch and Torres not hit it off when given a run
together, and perhaps by playing Babel
up front, Benitez will be able to get more out of the young Dutchman.

For me, Babel doesn't only possess great pace, but a
silk-like dribbling style, similar to that of Ryan Giggs back in his day. He's
one of the only players in our squad who can put fear in the opposition's
defence. It's a known fact defenders hate people running at them and Babel is
our man to do this. We look a much bigger threat with him in the side and he
has already convinced me he is a man who can take us onwards and upwards.

still remains unsure about whether Babel
will show us that he is worth his £11 million price tag. In his eyes, Babel doesn't attack
enough and thinks this could be down to confidence issues within the squad.
Rich considers Babel
to be on a ‘knife-edge' and could tip one of two ways – he could either be the
next Ronaldo or Henry, or on the other hand he could fizzle out and prove a
worthless signing. Rich wonders when the hype that follows Babel will be matched by his performances on
the field.