Ryan Babel
Ryan Babel was at Liverpool from 2007 to 2011. Getty


  • Stoke City striker was signed on deadline day to fill the gap left by departure of Lucas Perez to Arsenal.
  • He suffered a grade III knee sprain and is expected to be out of action for two months.
  • Former Anfield star has been without a club since leaving UAE side Al Ain earlier this year.

Former Liverpool man has agreed a free-agent move to Deportivo la Coruna following the long-term injury to Joselu. The La Liga outfit secured the services of the Stoke City striker on loan on deadline day to fill the huge gap left by the departure of Lucas Perez to Arsenal. However, the Spaniards have been forced to dip into the market once more after Joselu was ruled out until December.

This is not the first set back Deportivo have suffered in trying to find a replacement for Lucas. After Arsenal met the release clause for the Spanish striker, the club immediately set about signing a new number 9.

On deadline day the Galicians looked to have secured the services of Alvaro Vazquez from Getafe. Reports in Spain suggested the forward had passed a medical and both clubs had come to an agreement over terms.

However, Vazquez snubbed Deportivo at the very last moment to return to Espanyol. The Galicians had to react quickly to bag the signing of Joselu on loan from Stoke City.

Joselu had some big shoes to fill, after Lucas scored 17 goals and made 17 assists in the 2015-16 campaign.

However, his attempts to get up and running were disrupted once more at the weekend, when the Spaniard suffered a serious knee injury in a collision with Athletic Club Bilbao star Raul Garcia.

Early reports suggested he had torn a ligament and would be out of action for at least six months.

However, Deportivo have played down those fears and says he has just a grade III knee sprain. Joselu will not go under the surgeon's knife, but will miss around two months of game time.

Deportivo have rushed to fill in their attacking deficit, and have turned to former Liverpool forward Babel, who has been without a club since leaving UAE outfit Al Ain earlier this year.

Babel travelled to Galicia on Wednesday and the club have now confirmed a deal is done after the player passed his medical.


The ex-Anfield star is more of a winger than a striker, but Deportivo saw the 29-year-old forward as the only viable option currently available in the free-agent market.

Babel was once considered the next big thing in Dutch football after emerging from the legendary Ajax academy. Liverpool moved for him in the summer of 2007, but following disappointing spells at Anfield, Hoffenheim and a return to Ajax he was forced to continue his career in minor leagues, playing for Turkish outfit Kasımpaşa before moving to Al Ain.