Leicester City Opinion: Arjen Robben’s links with the Foxes sounds totally meaningless
The Daily Mail understands that Leicester have been installed as the bookmakers’ favourites to sign the 35-year-old, who is out of contract at the Allianz Arena at the end of the month, although there are no reports suggesting that the Foxes have made any formal approach to sign the Dutchman on a free transfer.
Robben has been linked with a move to his boyhood club PSV Eindhoven but Leicester have emerged as the favourites to sign the 35-year-old in the summer following a flurry of bets placed by the bookmakers. (h/t Mail)
The veteran, however, is yet to make a call on his future and has expressed his desire to hang up his boots upon the expiry of his contract in the Bundesliga if he doesn’t have a suitable offer on the table. ( h/t Daily Mail)
The 2010 World Cup finalist was once regarded as one of the best players in the world but his stocks have declined significantly over the past two or three seasons. Robben only played a bit-part role in the Bundesliga this term, contributing with 4 goals in 12 appearances as Bayern beat Dortmund to the domestic title.
As a matter of fact, Robben hasn’t featured regularly for Bayern since the start of the 2017-18 season following a hugely successful 2016-17 campaign which saw him accumulate 13 goals and 9 assists in the Bundesliga.
It is quite apparent that age has taken a toll on his fitness and consistency levels and he is not quite the same lightning presence down the flanks that he was in his prime.
The news of Leicester’s links with the 35-year-old is bound to come as a massive shock to the fans at the King Power Stadium, who probably wouldn’t have imagined a player of Robben’s stature gracing the club in his prime years in their wildest dreams.
While the news might sound tempting to the club hierarchy, the Foxes would commit a massive blunder by offering Robben a return to the Premier League for the first time in 12 years.
It doesn’t require a rocket scientist to figure out that Robben, though still an international stalwart, is well past his prime and very much on the verge of retirement. He has featured for some of the best clubs in Europe over the course of his illustrious and distinguished career but it would make little sense for the Foxes to sign him up at the fag end of his playing days.
Many might dare to argue that Robben is still capable of making some kind of an impact in the Premier League but they need to understand that signing such aged players, no matter how incredible they are, goes against Leicester’s transfer policy.
Signing him on a free transfer won’t do them much harm but his sky-high wages are likely to be a huge stumbling block for Brendan Rodgers’ side.
Leicester need to invest in their right-wing options given that Rachid Ghezzal, who made his move to the Premier League from Monaco last summer, has struggled to acclimatise to the level of competition in English football. Marcus Albrighton remains a useful squad player but the Foxes need to bring in a top-quality right-winger in a bid to add more firepower to their attack.
In James Maddison, Harvey Barnes, Demarai Gray, Ben Chilwell, Hamza Choudhury and a few more, Leicester have a strong core of promising homegrown talents in their ranks and they are only going to get better with time.
Signing Youri Tielemans permanently would be a massive coup for the Foxes and they should continue to invest in players who are young and talented and have the potential to evolve into future stars.
With Rodgers at the helm of affairs, Leicester need to move ahead with a concrete plan and lay down a strong foundation for the future rather than running after instant success and playing a massive gamble on ageing stars like Arjen Robben.
Even if Robben doesn’t hang up his boots at the end of this season, he would probably only play for another season or two, meaning that Leicester would do themselves no good by getting him on board.
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Not only would the potential move for Robben increase the club’s wage bills significantly, but the presence of a 35-year-old stalwart competing for a place in the team would stall the progress of the youngsters. That said, Leicester should drop their interest, if at all they have any, in Arjen Robben and look at other options to bolster their ranks.