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Why Ryan Babel can help Fulham survive the Premier League

Five points separate Fulham and the drop to eventual relegation, which will be a huge shame given the amount of money they spent over the summer. However, even after sacking Slavisa Jokanovic, the Cottagers are still struggling and have won just three league games since Claudio Ranieri’s appointment.

Now with the January window open and half-way over, the Craven Cottage side has finally made a signing and it is former Liverpool star, Ryan Babel.

The Cottagers were heavily linked with a move for the Dutchman but BBC has confirmed that the 31-year-old has joined the relegation-threatened side on a six-month loan. He finished last season with 15 goals and 7 assists in 45 appearances, which by far is Babel’s best throughout his time in the Premier League, La Liga, Eredivisie or even the Super Lig.

This simply means that Fulham have gotten a star soiled with experience and someone who can most definitely help them survive relegation. While he won’t score as many goals as he did in the Super Lig, his sheer presence on the field combined with his movement should help Fulham in the final third.

His influence in the disappointing 2-1 loss to Tottenham over the weekend was palpable. His versatility to play across the front-line does provide Ranieri with more options. If Babel can find his footing once again in the Premier League, things could get interesting.

But there are always risks adding a 31-year-old has-been. Ranieri can get the best out of the former Ajax youth star but it’s doing to be a dicey few months as Fulham keep fighting.

They need to add at least three more players, including another forward to help Aleksandar Mitrovic, a central midfielder and another defensive star to add steel to their back-line.  Fulham have been linked with moves for Victor Moses, Gary Cahill, Danny Simpson and Divock Origi among others, but nothing has materialised so far.

The Craven Cottage side does have a little under a fortnight to finish up any deals, but they will have to wrap things up fast, given that other Premier League sides are also in the race for their targets.

But having added experience in the form of the versatile and attacking Ryan Babel, Fulham manager Claudio Ranieri will now have to try and get the best out of the 31-year-old. He’ll only have six months to do that or Fulham could lose the battle to save their season.

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