Ex-Liverpool attacker Ryan Babel has suggested that he had a “weird relationship” with Rafael Benitez as his former boss did not offer him enough “guidance”.
After coming through the ranks at Ajax, the Dutchman was signed by Benitez in 2007. He joined Liverpool for around £14m.
Babel spent three and a half years in England before he joined Bundesliga outfit Hoffenheim in 2011.
The attacker had a fruitful spell with Fulham in the Premier League in 2018/19. He has also featured for the likes of Besiktas and Galatasaray.
Babel has told The Guardian that Benitez “judged him” for the things he did wrong:
“It was, in my opinion, a weird relationship [with Benitez] because when he signed me I looked at him as the big uncle who wanted to give me a chance and help me succeed,” Babel said.
“But then as we went on he left me totally on my own and only judged me for the things I didn’t do right instead of telling me how to solve or improve the things I had to improve.
“I was very young and I just needed guidance. I don’t want to blame the coach for me not having the ultimate career at Liverpool but I felt it could have been closer in terms of guidance and support.
“I felt he didn’t put in enough effort to guide a young player, not like you would see today with a Jurgen Klopp or many other coaches who take the time to get the best out of a talent.”
In other Liverpool news, Jurgen Klopp has delivered an injury update on Jordan Henderson and Andy Robertson:
“We always respect the competition but we have to think about ourselves, our schedule and the situation of our players first.
“Hendo, we’ll see, yesterday (Monday) I would say he was not 100 per cent, so he could play and do pretty much everything, but it’s about really being 100 per cent fit.
“So I thought, when he came on against Arsenal, it was just to see it out it and control it a little bit and that was exactly what he had to do from a rehab point of view, so he used these few minutes. But now we have to see, I don’t know exactly 100 per cent.
“Robbo is similar. They are both OK, but are both now ready to play and ready to start with the schedule and the [amount of] games coming up? Well, I have to make the decision to be honest and we haven’t made it yet, we will have to see.
“It is how we all know at this period of the season, the medical department has a big hand in the line-ups. We will see that.”