Manchester United Transfer News: Arjen Robben Names Red Devils 1st Option

Nick Akerman@NakermanFeatured ColumnistMarch 9, 2015

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 25:  A dejected Arjen Robben of Bayern Muenchen applauds the travelling fans following his team's 3-2 defeat during the UEFA Champions League Group E match between Manchester City and FC Bayern Muenchen at the Etihad Stadium on November 25, 2014 in Manchester, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Arjen Robben has suggested Manchester United represent his "first option" if he ever opts to leave Bayern Munich. However, the Dutch winger also indicated that life is "so good" with the German champions.

Robben believes Louis van Gaal will prove his quality at Old Trafford, as reported by Dominic King of the Daily Mail:

I have a lot of confidence he will be a success. He is a coach that needs time, to build his team up. When he qualifies this year for the Champions League—and he has a realistic chance of winning the FA Cup also—if that happens, he has had a great season. 

There can be no criticism. You must not forget where they have come from. Last season was even worse. They played very bad and that is why they are not in Europe. I know Van Gaal's quality and I know he will get it right.

FORTALEZA, BRAZIL - JUNE 28:  Louis van Gaal, manager of Netherlands talks with Arjen Robben during the Netherlands training session at the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil held at Estadio Presidente Vargas on June 28, 2014 in Fortaleza, Brazil.  (Photo by Robe
Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Reports suggest that Van Gaal wants to lure Robben back to England during the summer. The former Chelsea star suggests things are going too well to consider exiting Germany just yet but that United are at the top of his list if he does.

"The life I have with my family is so good, the team has been successful," Robben said, per King. "That is why I stay. If things were not going so well, if I was not enjoying it, maybe [joining United] would be the first option (smiles). But [Van Gaal] respects my situation. He knows I am happy."

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 01:  Nemanja Vidic of Manchester United closes down Arjen Robben of Bayern Muenchen during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final first leg match between Manchester United and FC Bayern Muenchen at Old Trafford on April 1, 201
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Robben has scored 19 in 27 appearances this season, per WhoScored.com. He remains one of the world's most lethal wide men for a side currently enjoying an 11-point lead atop the Bundesliga.

Robben's quality is best summarised by his favourite move: Although opposing defenders know he is likely to cut inside from the right, few can stop him from unleashing a crack at goal with his wand of a left foot.

The 31-year-old's quality season was recently highlighted by Squawka:

Squawka Football @Squawka

Most goals + assists in Europe's top 5 leagues this season: Lionel Messi (41) Cristiano Ronaldo (40) Alex Lacazette (26) Arjen Robben (24)

OptaFranz pinpointed Robben's stunning record since joining Bayern in 2009:

OptaFranz @OptaFranz

100 – Arjen #Robben from @FCBayern_EN celebrates his 100th BL win in his 126th match – a new record. Speeding. #H96FCB

United need a player of this style to improve their attacking output. Angel Di Maria currently provides the only pace that seriously forces defenders to rethink their steps, but he is yet to consistently impress in England.

Van Gaal continues to tweak his lineup, utilising everything from 4-1-2-1-2 to 3-5-2 this season. United have generally appeared more effective with traditional wingers but are yet to find the post-Cristiano Ronaldo signing to ignite their wide play.

An improvement is needed if Robben is to eventually arrive, however. He's unlikely to trade almost guaranteed success for a struggle to attain Champions League football. United have Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur to compete with on an annual basis, an extremely difficult battle during a transitional time for the club.

B/R UK's Alex Dimond believes that United will retain most of their attacking talent during the summer:

It will be interesting to see whether Van Gaal's connections eventually prove worthwhile for United. He has worked with Robben both at Bayern and in the Netherlands setup, two teams that enjoyed success under his gaze.

With Dutchmen Robin van Persie and Daley Blind at United, the team could become an attractive prospect to Robben in the future. Right now, he would be throwing his chances of consistent silverware down the pan with a switch, no matter how successful he expects Van Gaal to be.


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