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At last.............Ryan Babel

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Roeder lands Babel - 'the next Thierry'



Newcastle are on the verge of completing their first transfer window signing with the £5million capture of Ajax striker Ryan Babel.


The deal will see out-of-favour striker Albert Luque move to Ajax, ending a miserable 18 months on Tyneside.


The arrival of Babel will delight manager Glenn Roeder who has been desperate to find a quality strike partner for summer signing Obafemi Martins.


The towering 20-yearold is a product of Ajax's famed youth system.


Such was his impact at an early age that Holland coach Marco van Basten brought him into the Dutch squad before he had played a senior game for Ajax.


Van Basten said: "He has the potential to become the next Thierry Henry."


Having made his debut for Ajax at 17, Babel has made more than 60 appearances for the Dutch side, playing mostly in an unfavoured left-wing position.


Ajax had been keen for Babel to extend his contract beyond 2008, but it became clear he has his heart set on the Premiership.


Roeder has Arsenal forward Robin van Persie partly to thank for Babel's readiness to move to the North-East.


The pair are friends and on a recent visit to The Emirates, Van Persie helped convince Babel to play in England.






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