Hoffenheim confirm Babel move
German club complete swoop for Dutch winger
Last Updated: 25/01/11 7:15pm
Babel: Off to Hoffenheim
Hoffenheim have confirmed that winger Ryan Babel has joined the club from Liverpool.
The deal, which is thought to be worth around £6million, has seen Babel sign on a two-and-a-half year contract to end his spell at Anfield.
Rafa Benitez spent £11.5million on the mercurial Dutch international in 2007 from Ajax and hailed the player as a real star for the future.
But it never quite worked out for the 24-year-old, who consistently failed to hold down a first-team place and only ever delivered moments of quality on fleeting occasions.
It was thought that Babel would be used as a makeweight in a deal that saw him return to his former club and see Uruguay star Luis Suarez go the other way.
However, despite manager Kenny Dalglish stating that Babel was staying with the club on Monday, the deal with Hoffenheim has finally been completed.
The German side are likely to use Babel as a direct replacement for striker Demba Ba, who joined West Ham from the Bundesliga outfit on loan.
Babel also has an option to extend his contract at the club, with an option to add another year to his deal.
"Ryan was our first-choice attacking player. He strengthens our squad also with his experience despite being only 24 years old," said coach Marco Pezzaiuoli.
Manager Ernst Tanner added on the club's official website: "We are very proud to be able to sign in Ryan Babel an internationally-experienced player from a top club like Liverpool.
"We are convinced that he is a big gain for us with his character traits and his sporting qualities."
Commenting on the move, Babel was happy to have departed Anfield and was looking forward to the challenge ahead with the new side.
"I am looking forward to my new mission in Hoffenheim," he said.
"My first impressions are absolutely positive. I hope now to be able to quickly get into the team."