Reports this morning confirm that Dutch starlet Ryan Babel has been ruled out of the Euro 2008 torunament. The 21 year-old Liverpool member injured his ankle during a recent practice. The recovery time for his ligament tear appears to be not days but weeks. Coach Marco van Basten showcased Babel in 11 of the 12 Dutch qualifying matches. The Oranje coach will now look to call up another player to his 23-man squad.
In the Netherlands recent friendly with the Ukraine, Babel found the score sheet. He was also impressive in his first year at Anfield. He made 30 league appearances for Liverpool in 2007-2008 notching four goals. In total, he appeared 48 times and scored 10 goals for the Reds. Perhaps his most famous goal came in the UEFA Champions League semi-final clash against Chelsea. Unfortunately, Liverpool lost the match in extra-time.
Possible replacements for Ryan Babel appear to be AZ midfielder David Mendes da Silva or Hamburg SV forward Romeo Castelen.
Also, it is now imperative that Arsenal FC striker Robin van Persie recover fully from his recent injury spell in time for the Netherlands first match against Italy on June 9th. If van Persie cannot play, the Netherlands’ attacking flair will be severly muted.