Dutch star: Broken promises led to Liverpool departure

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Former Liverpool winger Ryan Babel says Rafa Benitez's broken promises ultimately led to his departure from Anfield.

Babel signed for Liverpool from Ajax for £11.5 million in the summer of 2007, but failed to fulfil his potential during his spell on Merseyside - something he attributes to Benitez.

The former Liverpool manager had already left Anfield before Babel was eventually sold by the club to Hoffenheim in January 2011, but said Benitez never afforded him the opportunity to make a name for himself.

"I don’t think people in England ever saw the best of me. For a player to really be at his best you have to give him a certain confidence, but I did not feel appreciated by some people at ­Liverpool," Babel told The Mirror.

"Rafa Benitez promised me a certain ­development, but very ­quickly he took away that promise and it was a totally different ­situation. I don’t think I ever really played more than three games in a row.

"But I love Liverpool, I still have a house there. I love the fans and I have great memories of my time at the club. It was a very good learning ­process for me."

Babel is now employed by Ajax, the club he left for Liverpool five years ago, and will have the chance to show an English audience how much he has grown when the Dutch giants face Manchester City on Wednesday.

The 25-year-old moved back to the Amsterdam Arena during the summer transfer window - buying himself out his Hoffenheim contract - having scored six goals in 51 appearances for the German club.

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