Right winger: Arjen Robben- 2004-2007
He may not have been at the club long but he was my favourite player at Chelsea during his three years at the club.
I was in the impressionable teen years of my life and watching him play made me want to watch, play, and breath football every day.
Robben was lightning fast and could dribble past defenders with ease. He wasn’t a ‘skiller’ per se like Ronaldo, but his simple way of just slightly feinting one way and going the other, while at top speed was amazing to watch. Defenders simply could not handle him.
While he plays as a right-winger now, he actually started out as a left winger using his natural left foot to whip in crosses. It wasn’t until his Bayern Munich days when inverted wingers became fashionable that he played on the right.
To get a true sense of how he played at Chelsea in his peak watch the below video, in particular- from 32 seconds.
His pace and the way the ball just stuck to his feet was unreal. He was one of the best players in the world in his peak, in my opinion. He still is, mind, but getting old. Unfortunately injuries plagued him throughout his career. He did well at Real Madrid, until he was forced out by the arrivals of Ronaldo and Kaka. He has played well for Bayern Munich though, when fit, but he typically gets injured a lot.
Even at Chelsea, at the young age of 20, he was injury prone and would spend large parts of the season in the treatment room. Evidently Mourinho got sick of this and sold him to Real Madrid for £24 m.
Out of the three seasons he played at Chelsea, 28 Premier League appearances in the 2005-06 season was his highest number of appearances.
He scored seven goals and made nine assists in his debut 04/05 season after making 18 appearances.
In 2005/06 he scored six goals and made four assists, a slightly less effective season as defenders figured out not to let him shoot on his favoured left foot.
His final season in 06/07 saw him produce only two goals and made six assists.
It seems he’s getting better with age though after scoring a career high of 17 goals and making seven assists in only 21 appearances in the Bundesliga for Bayern Munich. The 33-year-old is currently having a good season for Bayern Munich as he’s scored eight goals and made six assists so far.
But back to Chelsea, he made a total of 105 appearances for the Blues scoring 19 goals.
Robben won two Premier League titles, the FA Cup and two League Cup trophies.
The Guardian named him the fourth best player in the world in 2014.