Any footballer who believes he is falling short of his potential should look at Ryan Babel as inspiration.
Although the flying Dutchman might never have become the ‘new Thierry Henry’ during an ill-fated spell at Liverpool, Babel has recovered from a dramatic fall from grace to become a key player for club and country at the age of 32.
He scored a career-best 15 goals for Besiktas last season and has suddenly blossomed into a wise old head in a young and promising Holland team containing the likes of Frenkie De Jong and Matthijs de Ligt.
And, according to De Telegraaf, Babel is now set to be rewarded with a shock return to the Premier League with Claudio Ranieri’s Fulham. It is understood that he will leave cash-strapped Besiktas and move to Craven Cottage on an initial six-month loan deal, with Fulham plotting an escape from the relegation zone.
The veteran winger, who has 54 caps for his country, should add guile and goals to a Fulham team who have been over-reliant on Aleksandar Mitrovic of late.
But whether his signing will be enough to save the Cottagers from an immediate return to the Championship remains to be seen.