Friday 22 February 2019

Fulham complete signing of former Liverpool forward Ryan Babel

Ryan Babel of Besiktas in action
Ryan Babel of Besiktas in action

PA Sport

Ryan Babel is confident he can help fire Fulham to Premier League safety after joining the Cottagers from Besiktas.

The 32-year-old Holland international, who made 146 appearances during his three-and-a-half year spell at Anfield, has signed a deal until the end of the season.

The Cottagers are second from bottom of the Premier League after Claudio Ranieri's side lost 2-1 at fellow relegation battlers Burnley on Saturday.

Babel, who came through the youth ranks at Ajax and also had spells at Hoffenheim, Turkish side Kasimpasa and United Arab Emirates club Al Ain, is relishing the challenges ahead at Craven Cottage.

"My first impressions are good and I'm very excited," he told fulhamfctv.

"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."

Fulham vice-chairman Tony Khan said: "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 with nine important home fixtures remaining, beginning Sunday when Spurs visit the Cottage.

"Ryan scored 15 goals across all competitions last season and arrives with the support of our manager.

"Claudio (Ranieri) and I are confident that Ryan's return to the Premier League here will be every bit as good for him as his addition will be good for our squad."

Fulham spent around £100million on additions to their squad in the summer, under former boss Slavisa Jokanovic.

However, even after a change in the dugout, the west London club have won just three league games. The loss against Burnley was a third in succession following their shock home FA Cup third round defeat by Sky Bet League Two club Oldham.

Vice-chairman Khan is the son of club owner Shahid, and had been involved in an angry Twitter exchange following the defeat at Turf Moor in which he told a supporter to "go to hell".

The 36-year-old, however, also insisted the Cottagers, five points adrift of safety, would invest in a series of signings during the January transfer window and urged fans not to give up on remaining in the top flight.

Reports, meanwhile, have emerged of players Aleksandar Mitrovic and Aboubakar Kamara being involved in a heated row at Fulham's training ground gym last week as the club battle to stay up.

Press Association

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport