Babel accepts Liverpool bench role

Ryan Babel is prepared to continue playing off the bench in his first season at Liverpool.

"The manager has told me from the start that this would be the case at first," he told Liverpool's matchday programme. "He tells me that even though he paid a lot of money for me I must not think about that. He says I am still young and will improve with time.

"This is good for me to hear and gives me the confidence that I can train and work without worrying too much."

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The Holland international's pace and direct style has already seen some of the games great names draw comparisons between him and the Arsenal legend Thierry Henry.

Indeed, before he set the Premier League alight as a marauding forward the Frenchman was primarily recognised as a winger in his early years.

It is a fact that has not been lost on Babel who hopes to one day follow the same route as the Barcelona man.

"Henry is a player I always looked to when I was younger," he enthused. "He did great things for Arsenal and I can only look at a player like that and try to develop as much as possible along similar lines.

"Henry was my number one idol.

"I have played most of my career as a striker and probably see myself in that role one day. Hopefully I will get the chance to play as a striker and that is how people will see me.

"I developed as a striker at Ajax but also have the ability to play as a winger. It's not that I don't like playing as a winger. It is an important part of developing my game and is a good way for me to get minutes on the pitch right now.

"The boss knows how I am thinking and I believe one day he will show faith in me to play as a striker."

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