£11.5 million Liverpool flop looking to kick-start career with obscure Turkish outfit

Ryan Babel

Ryan Babel has signed for little known Turkish outfit Kasimpasa on a three-year deal.

Remember when Liverpool snapped up Ajax youngster Ryan Babel? The young forward was highly-rated across Europe and being pursued by several other parties.

In the end however it was Rafa Benitez who convinced him to join the Anfield club on an £11.5 million deal; signing a five-year contract with the club.

At the time he had come off the back of helping Holland win the European Under-21 Championships and had already played 14 times for the full Oranje set-up.

Fast, skilful and with an absolutely devastating right foot on him you could see why teams were scrambling for his signature.

But Babel’s four-year spell at the club was mixed in terms of success. On occasions he demonstrated that quite terrifying natural ability in abundance; especially in Europe with notable displays against Besiktas, Marseille and Lyon.

But after injury niggles, fitness issues and Twitter rows Babel’s status at the club diminished rapidly. They rejected an offer from Birmingham City in 2010 but a year later they were willing to part company with the player and he signed for Bundesliga outfit TSG Hoffenheim for £7 million.

But again he failed to settle in Germany and just 18 months later he brought out the remainder of his contract in order to return home with boyhood outfit Ajax.

This was supposed to be the renaissance of Babel. Back in his hometown with his first club the expectation was that he could finally reignite his career.

But that has once again not been the case.

Babel has played just 22 games for the club this season, with only nine league starts, and Ajax were keen to shift his high wages along this summer.

And they have just done that, as he completes a shock move to Turkey.

Now while the likes of Galatasaray and Fenerbahce have made moves in the transfer market recently the likelihood is not many of you would have heard of Beyoğlu district, Istanbul, based side Kasımpaşa.

They finished sixth in the Turkish Super Lig this season and are currently managed by former Rangers striker Shota Arveladze; himself a former Ajax favourite.

If you are looking for familiar names currently with the club the likes of former Manchester City stopper Andreas Isaksson and German international Fabian Ernst is probably the best I can offer you.

On Thursday it was revealed that the club hoped to tie down the deal for Babel, and fellow Dutchman Ryan Donk of West Brom fame, on three-year deals.

Babel can now frequent himself with fellow Istanbul based Dutchman such as Dirk Kuyt and Wesley Sneijder of Fenerbahce and Galatasaray respectively.

Quite a long drop-off for a player who won a FIFA World Cup runners-up medal in 2010 but perhaps he can turn his career around with good Dutch company in Istanbul?

What are your memories of Babel?

image: © vincentteeuwen

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