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Mourinho returns to Stamford Bridge

50-50 Challenge

Liverpool's Babel admits frustration at sub role

Ryan Babel has admitted his disappointment in being constantly omitted from Liverpool's starting line-up, as the 22-year-old has made only six starts in 23 games this season.

Named as a substitute in Tuesday's UEFA Champions League clash with Chelsea, the Dutch international had little time to create any real impact on a thrilling 4-4 draw at Stamford Bridge.

Admitting his frustration in being constantly overlooked by Rafa Benitez, Babel insists he can offer much more to the club if given the chance.

Reflecting on Benitez's instructions to work on the defensive side of his game, he told Sportweek: "With this supporting role, I am not happy.

"I have had three good talks with the trainer this season in which he indicated that I could not lose sight of the defensive aspect.

"It is my feeling that I have strongly improved, but I still get no real chance."

Babel is likely to lead a summer exodus at Anfield, with Benítez reportedly ready to listen to offers for him and Andrea Dossena, who has failed to convince since his arrival from Udinese last summer.

Daniel Agger's future is also far from clear, with Barcelona joining Real Madrid and AC Milan in expressing interest in the Danish defender.

With money to spend, Benitez's priorities appear to centre around midfielder Gareth Barry, who has claimed he will leave Aston Villa if they don't qualify for the Champions League this season (which now looks unlikely). With Babel's exit, and the departure of Robbie Keane in January, he will also be keen to add at least one centre forward to his squad.


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