Friday, August 23, 2019 | ePaper
Struggling Fulham sign Babel from Besiktas
Fulham signed former Liverpool forward Ryan Babel from Besiktas on Tuesday as the Premier League strugglers bid to bolster their spluttering attack and avoid relegation.
Netherlands international Babel has joined Claudio Ranieri's side, who sit 19th and five points from safety, until the end of the season and could make his debut against Tottenham Hotspur this weekend.
"My first impressions are good and I'm very excited," former Liverpool attacker Babel told Fulham's website after returning to England.
"I definitely have faith that Fulham can stay up. That's one of the reasons that I'm here, to try and help that to happen.
"I'm ready to go, I'm excited and I can't wait."
The 32-year-old will be expected to spark a Fulham team who are deep in a relegation battle after losing 2-1 at fellow strugglers Burnley on Saturday.
The Cottagers have scored only 20 goals and won just three of their 22 league games despite splashing out around Â£100 million ($127 million) on new players in the summer following promotion from the Championship.
Babel made 146 appearances during his three-and-a-half year spell with Liverpool.
He left Anfield in 2011 and played for Hoffenheim, Ajax, Al Ain and Deportivo La Coruna before joining Besiktas in 2017.
Fulham vice-chairman Tony Khan added: "Ryan has excelled at playing attacking football on both the club and international stage, and we welcome that experience as we build our squad for a strong second-half push."