Bayern Munich Must Pull Out All the Stops to Tie Arjen Robben to a New Contract

Stefan Bienkowski@@SbienkowskiFeatured ColumnistFebruary 24, 2014

Associated Press

With Bayern Munich back in the spotlight in recent weeks with the return of the long-awaited Champions League, the news of players coming and going has again reared its ugly head. 

Yet while the international press continue to dispute the future of young star Toni Kroos, as seen here by the Guardian, some are forgetting who else could be leaving when his contract expires next summer: Arjen Robben. 

Here is why the German and European champions simply cannot allow that to happen. 

First and foremost, we must acknowledge just how outstanding the Dutch international was throughout Bayern's history making season last year. 

Through official Bundesliga stats, we can confirm that Robben did, in fact, have the most combined goals and assists in the record-breaking champions' squad, with 10 goals and eight assists in just 21 games, amounting to an impressive stat of scoring or assisting 0.85 goals per game. It's a record any professional would be proud of. 

Of course, it wasn't just a case of simple numbers that won the winger the affection of Bayern fans and millions of neutrals across the world last season. It was how and when he scored them for his Bavarian club. 

The most notable of those undoubtedly came in the Champions League final when he scored the winning goal to win his club the ultimate prize, yet there were others, too. 

Matthias Schrader/Associated Press

The 30-year-old also created the winning goal against Valencia in the opening tie of last season's Champions League group stage; the winning goal against Dortmund in the quarter-finals of last season's DFB Pokal showdown with Dortmund, as well as three of the six goals that Bayern then put past Wolfsburg in the following round.

The treble may have always looked likely last year, but it was only made possible through Robben's help. 

And his performances for Bayern haven't stopped there. 

Although many speculated that the Dutch star would be out the door with the arrival of Pep Guardiola, it was the new coach who actually embraced the forward and has since ensured his place in the first team. 

This season Robben has amassed an impressive tally of 16 goals and 11 assists in just 29 games for club and country. Not bad for a player of his quality but really quite astonishing for a player of his age.

Yet, as we can see from the performances he has put in this season, he's far from beyond his peak. 

In the Bundesliga alone, we've seen him score in important ties such as the opening game against Gladbach or the recent demolition of Dortmund, while his savvy ability to create goals with just as much ease helped win matches against Hannover and Schalke. 

However, it is in the Champions League that we yet again find Robben thriving. For even though Guardiola's Bayern may be back to defend their title with added firepower in Mario Gotze and Thiago Alcantara, it is still the Dutch winger who continues to offer the most throughout the strongest club competition in world football.

In just five games in this season's tournament, amounting to 425 minutes of game time, Robben has managed to score three goals and create six assists, giving him an incredible record of either scoring or creating a goal every 54 minutes. 

We may not have seen such a potent goal threat against Arsenal, but it was all too clear when he scored against Manchester City or CSKA Moscow or created three assists in just one game against Viktoria Plzen.

The continental competition is where Robben has always thrived and he's wasting no time in racking up the goals in this current campaign. 

Of course, we can only continue to define Robben as a player through such stats before the appreciation becomes rather hollow. For as great as the player has been on the scoresheets and in the goalscoring charts throughout the years, he is someone who clearly means so much more to the club than just a simple tally of goals or assists.

It was Bayern that Robben eventually found and called home after such a long and bumpy road through the horrors and inconsistencies of English and Spanish football.

He finally found some lasting form and became the player he had always suggested he could become, and with it he brought Bayern to the top of European football. 

Quite simply, Arjen Robben is a modern great of Bayern Munich and should always be considered one before being allowed to leave the club. 


All stats supplied by if not already stated.


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