Babel warns Wijnaldum: leaving Liverpool 'my biggest regret'
Having left Anfield in 2011, after spending four years at the club, Ryan Babel knows everything there is to know about the regret of leaving LFC.
The young Dutch winger, at the time, was signed with great fanfare in the same summer as Fernando Torres. He was snipped from under the noses of Arsenal and seen as a huge coup.
He had all the potential in the world but, ultimately, failed to realise that at the club. He was still highly regarded by fans though, so it was a disappointment to see him leave. But the player just wanted first-team football.
But the 34 year old has warned Gini Wijnaldum about the mistake of thinking leaving Liverpool can lead to better things.
Speaking via the Livrerpool Echo, Babel said: "I spent almost four years at Liverpool under Rafa Benitez and Kenny Dalglish.
“When I left to go and play in Germany, where TSG Hoffenheim had become a big force, it was to become the biggest regret of my career.
“The only reason I left was because I wanted to have more playing minutes to keep my place in the Holland team.
“But you don’t realise how dominating the playing style is at Liverpool until you play in a different team and league.
“I was brought up with really attacking football at Ajax. In the academy, you learn to play that way. When I moved to Liverpool, it was exactly the same. It is in the DNA of the club to play attacking football.”
Babel won't ever be remembered as a resounding success at the club, but being here had clearly made an impact on him, and he obviously still identifies with the club even now.
Gini, on the other hand, will be widely regarded as one of our most astute signings ever, winning all the major trophies at Anfield since his unheralded arrival from Newcastle back in 2016. He has since played over 200 times, scoring 20 goals and has been a big success.
But Babel thinks that any decision Wijnaldum takes should be put into the context of what he'd be losing, should he choose to leave.