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Sep 21, 2009

Ryan Babel denies wanting out of Liverpool

Ryan Babel has firmly denied ever claiming he was considering leaving Liverpool to join former club Ajax and has vowed to fight for his first-team place under Rafael Benitez.

Babel appeared to cast doubt over his long-term future at Anfield when he was quoted as stating at the start of the month that Benitez had broken promises regarding his first-team participation and that he would welcome the chance to join Ajax on loan in January.

However, after making a positive impression as a substitute during Liverpool's 3-2 win over West Ham on Saturday, Babel claims his apparent outburst was the result of a poor piece of translation on the part of the English press.

"I didn't say any of those things," Babel told the club's official website. "I did an interview in Holland and I don't know who in England got hold of it but it was the worst translation I have ever seen.

"The fact is I'm very happy here and I don't want to leave to go anywhere. Yes, there is a lot of competition for places at Liverpool but that's the same at every top club. It was like that when I was at Ajax and that isn't a problem for me. I didn't accuse the manager of anything.

"I heard about what was being reported when I was away with Holland. When I got back to Liverpool I went straight to the manager and told him it wasn't true. He accepted that and there is no problem. Now I just want to concentrate on playing."

While keen to underline his commitment to Liverpool, Babel still has a real fight on his hands to earn a regular place under Benitez in what is a World Cup year and has started just one game for the club so far this season.

Benitez appears to prefer Dirk Kuyt and Albert Riera in wide positions while Fernando Torres occupies the lone striker's role, meaning Babel has been restricted to the bench. However, the Dutchman was encouraged by his cameo against West Ham.

"Before I came on the manager said I needed to bring some energy to the game and that I needed to run at them," Babel said. "I enjoyed it and that will give me some confidence. Now I hope to carry on like this. If I keep working hard then hopefully I can get some more minutes and in the end get a place back in the starting line-up."

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