Kuyt says Babel’s heart is still in it

Dirk Kuyt has defended criticism that Ryan Babel is not commited to Liverpool after comments from the Dutch winger that suggested he was eyeing a January exit from Anfield.

Babel told a Dutch newspaper earlier this week that he was frustrated with the lack of first team opportunities he is being given this season and would welcome a loan move back to his former club Ajax in order to establish a place in the Holland national team in time for World Cup 2010.

And Kuyt says that despite these comments, Babel is happy with life at Liverpool – if a little worried he won’t be going to South Africa next summer.

“He loves to play games for Liverpool and he will do everything in his power to come back,” Kuyt told Sky Sports.

“He is happy at Liverpool but every player wants to play and that is his only concern, before the World Cup, that he has to play games.

“I’m sure that he wants to play for Liverpool and that he wants to play in games as soon as possible.

“We have a big squad, with many players who can play in his position, so he has to work hard and I believe he is doing that at Liverpool and with the Dutch team.”