Fans who have been following the game since early and mid 2010's would know how brilliant Arjen Robben was. The Dutchman was one of the best players in the world at the time, and he was instrumental to whatever success Bayern Munich had achieved during those years. Robben was a winger that inflicted nightmares to any defender, as his dribbling skills, pace, ball control, and outstanding long-range shooting made him one of the most feared players in his position at the time. He is widely known for his decade-long stint at Bayern, as they both went on to win everything together. This article will be looking at one of the earliest and unknown phases of Robben's career, when he was playing in the Premier League for Chelsea.
From PSV to Chelsea
After an impressive 2 years at PSV, Arjen Robben was signed by Chelsea after Roman Abramovich made an €18 million offer to beat Manchester United for the player's services. Robben had a rough start at Chelsea, as he suffered a serious injury during a pre-season game against Roma and only made his competitive debut on 23rd October 2004 against Blackburn Rovers.
Robben eventually proved himself to be an important player for the Blues, even winning the Premier League Player of the Month for November. Another major injury proved to be a nightmare for Robben that season though, as it saw him miss out the 2005 Football League Cup Final, Chelsea's title run-in and their progress to the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League.
He still ended that season with 7 goals, which was the second best of his professional career at the time. The player's impressive performances also made him shortlisted for the PFA Young Player of the Year award that season as well.
A much better second season
Arjen Robben was back to fitness for the 2005–06 season, and he was an integral part of the Chelsea team in the left wing. Robben went on to score 6 goals in 28 matches that season. Chelsea continued their domestic dominance, as they won their second consecutive league title.
The 2006-07 season saw Robben come up with some fine performances for Chelsea, with the most notable one being again Wigan Athletic on 23rs December 2006. Robben got 2 assists and also scored the winner in that match.
A minor injury setback was suffered by Robben in the following month against Liverpool, but he made his return within a few weeks. The Dutchman had one of his most memorable moments for the club at this time, as he came on as a substitute for Claude Makélélé in the 2007 League Cup final and set up the winning goal for Didier Drogba. Robben also scored an important goal for Chelsea against Porto in the Champions, which helped them win 3-2 on aggregate.
At the end of March 2007,Robben required a knee operation after sustaining a knee injury after returning from international duty. He only went on to make two more appearances for the club as a substitute after returning from injury.
One of those appearances was against Liverpool in the Champions League semi-final, which Chelsea went on to lose after a penalty-shootout. Robben's penalty kick was saved by then Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina as well.
His final appearance for the club was against Manchester United in the 2007 FA Cup final. Despite appearing as a substitute, Robben himself was later substituted for Andy Cole during extra time. The Blue's ended up winning the final though, which overshadowed everything else.
That was the end of Robben's time at Chelsea. It was yet another case of injuries ruining a player's potential, and it would ultimate be unknown how much Robben could've achieved at Chelsea if he managed to stay fit. Chelsea eventually sold Robben to Real Madrid for £24 million, with whom he spent his next 2 years.