Besiktas winger Ryan Babel thinks he would have been able to substantially develop his game under Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp and admits he still looks out for the Reds' results despite failing to establish himself during his four-year spell at Anfield.
Babel is currently enjoying something of a career revival at Besiktas and is likely to start for the Turkish giants when they face Porto in their penultimate Champions League group stage clash on Tuesday (21 November).
The 30-year-old is a regular starter for Senol Gunes' side and has enjoyed a rather productive start to the new campaign, scoring six goals and providing three assists, but there is a feeling the talented Dutchman has failed to fulfil the vast potential he displayed during his early days at Ajax.
Babel's move to Liverpool in the summer of 2007 was supposed to elevate him to higher reaches of world football, but after leaving Anfield in 2011 the Amsterdam-born attacker's career began to mirror that of a quintessential journeyman.
He has managed to turn his fortunes around at Besiktas, but Babel is now left wondering about what footballing path he would have followed if he was coached by Klopp, rather than Rafa Benitez, when he was still learning his trade.
"Liverpool is my club," he told Sky Sports, relayed by The Independent. "I try to follow every game. I still support them, I wish them all the best.
"Judging from the outside I think the current Liverpool manager [Klopp] definitely seems to work with his players and try to improve them. I think the 20-year-old me from that time, if I could have been managed under Jurgen Klopp, I'd have benefitted.
"As far as I can judge, English football is not for everybody. You need to have the lungs for it, you need to have the strength for it. That applies to me also, at this point I don't think I could survive in any team if it's not for my game.
"I liked mostly to play football on the ground and have a little bit of playing tactics rather than just up and down, long balls and second balls. That's not really my game.
"If there isn't a team that plays my type of game I don't think I could make a big difference. I have to be realistic."
A return to Liverpool is rather unlikely for Babel, who earns around £1.8m a year with Besiktas, but the former Deportivo La Coruna winger can help his side secure top spot in Group G with over Porto in Istanbul on Tuesday.