The Robben story is on BBC now. This says that Robben has agreed his personal terms with Real Madrid. But based on what Jose had said after the Bluewings match yesterday, it doesn’t appear that Chelsea has allowed the player to speak to Real Madrid, in which case, it is either illegal or false.

Some rumours even say Robben deal would a swap of Cicinho or Cannavaro plus cash. I dont see any intelligence in getting Cannavaro for Chelsea. If it’s Cicinho, then we don’t have to pursue 30m Dani Alves any longer.

Talking about reports and rumours, if you want to piss off any Arsenal buddy of yours, just ask him if Palacio is joining Arsenal. If you don’t know the background, here it is. A Brazilian kid wrote in his Boca Juniors blog that Palacio is joining Arsenal and also spread this news in various Arsenal blogs and forums himself. It spread to such an extent that ‘The Sun’ ran an exclusive on ‘Palacio to Arsenal’ story alongwith few other papers and believe me, the Boca Juniors president had to come out and issue a statement that this is false. Above all, that kid came out and called the prank so proudly. So, not everything that is published is true and you don’t need a better example that this.

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The BBC report also says that we are claiming 15 million pounds and Real are ready to pay only 12. Even at 15 million poounds, I feel Chelsea is underselling a great prospect. He is just 23-year old, has not yet peaked in his career and is a great talent. His constant injury niggles must have had an influence to the price being discussed. For Chelsea, apart from the 04-05 season, we couldn’t see much of him at a longer periods of time.

Jose’s response on Robben story after the Bluewings match, is not all that reassuring:

The latest with Robben is that he played the game. I cannot tell you more than that. At the moment he is a Chelsea player with two more years of contract and he is working well. For me, he is a player like Terry or Lampard with two more years of contract. I look at him as a Chelsea player and he has to compete against very good wingers like we have. I am happy with the situation.

Reminds me of what Henry was saying in May about his future at Arsenal.

See, I’m a great fan of Robben and would be sad to see him go. But if I have to see objectively, the output Chelsea got from Robben and SWP (you know, I’m not a great fan of him!) , there wasn’t too much difference, if you adjust the goals, assists & shots to the playing minutes. The Robben effect on our game and results has been diminishing over the last three seasons, I’ve to admit. If you think, I’m seeing Robben this way because, he seems to be on his way out, well, in a way you’re right.

Some statistics to explain things. Here GS is Games Started, SB is Sub appearance, G is Goals, A is Assists, SH is Shots and SG is Shots on Goal.

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The above is the statistics of the 2004-05 season when he was one of the architects of the historic title win.

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Here is the statistics of the second season. Started and appeared in more matches than in 2004-05, but ended up not bettering his earlier season.

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This is the last season. You can see the returns diminish. I don’t simply value a player based on numbers. There are also intangibles like his influence on the game and other colleagues, his creativity that causes chaos in the opponent defence etc which are equally important, but all considered, we have been getting less and less from Robben over the last three seasons.

On the other hands, the fact that his effectiveness has diminished over the last two seasons may not have any bearing on what he has to offer in the coming years because, he is just 23 years and there is so much more in his career. Now that he has come out of his injury, if he plays for a long stretch of period without any further injury, he can be a great asset once again, but given his injury profile, that’s quite a big ‘if’.

If we’re going to buy Drenthe as a replacement for Robben, I’d feel somewhat happy. I’ve seen Drenthe on youtube. He is fantastic. Well, Baptista in Arsenal colours would also be brilliant, in a youtube compilation. So, you always leave a discount factor to what you see on youtube. Even after that Drenthe is still good. He can give a good run for anyone’s money from Ashley Cole to Malouda.

Also, you need to consider a fully-fit Joe Cole, hungry-to-prove Malouda, highly-improved SWP, red-hot Scott Sinclair and possible-right-winger Sheva, to see how Robben’s probable exit would impact us. Now you can add the Drenthe possibility here to see the full picture. In fact, given the problem of plenty that Jose faces, if Robben leaves, it might do good for Jose. Given a choice, Jose could offload SWP and retain Robben.

All said, I’d still hope Robben to stay. But if he doesn’t, I’d feel sad that I’d be missing a quality player like Robben in Chelsea colours, but Chelsea as a team should be able to cope quite well.

{democracy:55}

[tags]Chelsea, Robben, Arjen Robben, Real Madrid, Cicinho, Cannavaro, Malouda, Transfers [/tags]

What I am? Uber football addict, optimistic Chelsea fan, casual gamer and long time blogger with views and opinions rather than stats and data. What I'm not? Expert, analyst, pundit or self-proclaimed guru of anything. I choose when to be biased and when not to be. Views and opinions are all mine and not what you always might want to see. Follow me on twitter @bluechampion for the headlines.