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A forgotten Premier League cult hero has fought his way back into Holland’s squad

Ryan Babel has been included in the Holland squad to face France and Bulgaria after getting his career back on track

When is the last time you thought about Ryan Babel?

Admit it, that name hasn’t crossed your mind in a while. It’s fine, we’d completely forgotten about him until today.

Because, at exactly twelve past four Babel came screaming back into our consciousness.

The floor is not hitting the first man with a corner

Bradley Ormesher - The Times
The floor is not hitting the first man with a corner

The reason?

He’s been picked in Holland’s latest squad, to take part in the World Cup qualifiers against Bulgaria and France.

Ryan is back.

There he is, written in ink

There he is, written in ink

Since making his last Holland appearance in 2011, while still a Liverpool player, Babel has struggled to settle.

Spells at Hoffenheim, Ajax, Kasimpasa and Al Ain saw Babel’s career trajectory take a downwards spiral towards an inevitable spell in the MLS or Chinese Super League.

But a move to Deportivo La Coruna in 2016 was the starting point for Babel getting his career back on track.

This is no time to take your shorts off mate

This is no time to take your shorts off mate

Four goals in 11 games for Depor earned the winger a move to Besiktas, where he’s linked up with Ricardo Quaresma.

Babel scored eight goals in 24 appearances in Turkey last season to earn a recall to the Holland squad for the first time in six years.

He’ll now join Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder and Robin van Persie in a squad that is starting to have a certain nostalgic theme to it.

May as well bring Ruud van Nistelrooy back while you’re at it.

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