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Why Bayern Munich Won't Sell Arjen Robben This Summer

Allan JiangTransfers CorrespondentApril 3, 2013

Why Bayern Munich Won't Sell Arjen Robben This Summer

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    Will Bayern Munich sell Arjen Robben in the summer transfer window?

    This article will address why die Bayern may keep the Dutch international. 

    When you bring up the name: “Arjen Robben,” it creates a debate. So please comment below with your opinions of the former Real Madrid player.

Defending Arjen Robben

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    Here are some common misconceptions about Arjen Robben that need to be cleared up:

     

    262 players in Europe's elite leagues have scored more league goals (five) than Arjen Robben (four) this season

    Robben has only played 12 Bundesliga games (four as a sub) and has scored/created a combined eight goals—that's an excellent return.

     

    Bayern Munich have replaced Arjen Robben with Xherdan Shaqiri

    Xherdan is a natural inside-out winger like Arjen, but Bayern management have played the Swiss international as a deep-lying forward and used him as the backup to Franck Ribery.

     

    Arjen Robben is injury-prone

    What else is new? That is why Bayern extended his contract (per ESPN FC) by two years instead of five.

    The club haven't gone all-in on him as a starter because they view him as the next man up should Thomas Muller, who is one of the most durable players in the world, suffer a rare injury.

    Now with Toni Kroos out for the foreseeable future (via the FC Bayern Munich website), Thomas will move into the central attacking midfield position, and Robben will take Muller's position on the right.

    This is how Bayern operate and that is why they are the best-run club in Europe.

     

    Arjen Robben is wasteful

    Who would you rather: Robben who can create a shot for himself or Fernando Torres who shies away from shooting?

    Let's compare Arjen to other volume-shooters.

    He creates more shots per game than Cristiano Ronaldo, the Dutchman is more accurate in front of goals than Suarez and Robben has the highest pass percentage even though he routinely attempts incisive passes.

    Arjen's SPG would be lower if he played more games, therefore giving him more opportunities to score.

     

    LEAGUE ONLY SPG SA% SCPG PA%
    Andre Schurrle 11.5 57 1.2 78.1
    Arjen Robben 9.0 65 2.0 86.6
    Cristiano Ronaldo 7.1 62 1.6 77.1
    Gareth Bale 7.8 57 2.4 77.7
    Luis Suarez 7.7 50 2.7 76.9

     

    SPG = shots per goal; SA = shooting accuracy percentage; SCPG = shots created per game; PA = passing accuracy percentage

Robben-Ribery Combo

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    Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery aren't directly combining with each other, so the previous bad blood between them is a moot point (via ESPN FC).

    By having two world-class dribblers on both flanks, Bayern Munich have dismantled opposing sides i.e. 4-0 vs. Schalke, 6-1 wins over Lille and Werder Bremen

    The scoreline would have been worse than 9-2 against Hamburg if Franck started. Mind you, Xherdan Shaqiri played his best game in a Bayern shirt.

    In the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals first leg, Juventus were fortunate not to concede four considering how dominant Bayern were with Ribery and Robben.

    Michael Cox at Zonal Marking said:

    Juve’s wing-backs were pushing high up the pitch and weren’t being tracked all the way by the Bayern wingers, it was useful to have two direct dribblers who could pick up possession and immediately exploit the space ahead of them.

    Ribéry and Robben both wanted to cut inside onto their stronger side—because there were gaps either side of Pirlo that Bayern could storm into, this worked particularly well.

    Ribéry was probably the livelier of the duo, but Robben found himself in more promising goalscoring opportunities, and should have added to Bayern’s lead.

Arjen Has No Leverage

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    Arjen Robben hasn't played 30 league games or more in a season since he was 19 years old.

    No UEFA Champions League contender would be willing to offer him a long-term contract on the wages he's currently on.

    His best chance of winning the Champions League—a competition he has never won—is with Bayern Munich.

    Even with his injuries and attitude issues, die Bayern extended his contract last year, and surely that plays a part in Robben not forcing a move away this summer.

    Bayern don't judge players on their CV, they select starters based on form.

    With Toni Kroos out and Thomas Muller (most probably) moving centrally, this is Arjen's time to shine.

     

    Statistics courtesy of WhoScored.comFox Soccer and Squawka.com.

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