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Arjen Robben

Arjen Robben


D.O.B: 23 Jan 1984

Birthplace: Bedum, Netherlands

Shirt Number: 16

Position: Midfielder/ Striker

Height: 6'

Previous clubs: PSV Eindhoven, FC Groningen.

Signed: 1st July 2004

Chelsea debut: 23 Oct 2004

International Games: Netherlands 2003, 2004.

Robben joined the Chelsea revolution in July 2004, signing from PSV Eindhoven in a ?12million deal. The left-sided wing wonder was fresh from Euro 2004, where he had been one of Holland's best players as they bowed out of the tournament in the semi-finals to hosts Portugal.

Manchester United were the first club to show a real interest in the flying winger. Robben was shown around Old Trafford in January that year - something that greatly angered those in power at PSV. A fee of ?5million was mooted then, and the Dutch club made it clear that figure was way below their valuation.

Chelsea moved in, and agreed a deal in March, with the player to make the switch in the summer. He penned a five-year contract. Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon said: 'Arjen is a top quality player who will become a major asset for our club in the years ahead. For his age, he shows great maturity and mental strength to go with his natural footballing skills.'

Robben has played both on the left flank and up front for Holland and would provide a much-needed complement to Damien Duff.

He began his career with VV Bedum before being snapped up by FC Groningen. The pacy winger made his bow, aged just 16, in a 1-0 win over Feyenoord. The player was an inspiration and gave a clear indication of what was to come - and within months, in the summer of 2001, PSV had paid ?2.6million for him. He was immediately loaned back to Groningen for the 2001/02 season.

Robben was voted PSV's young player of the year in his first term at the club - weighing in with 12 goals. The former Holland Under-21 star earned his full debut in April 2003 against Portugal. And although his 2003/04 campaign was injury hit, he recovered for Euro 2004 and his switch to Chelsea.

He had to wait for his Chelsea debut as an ankle injury kept him on the sidelines until late October. His bow finally came as a 63rd minute substitute for Joe Cole in a 4-0 home win over Blackburn Rovers. Even in that cameo performance, he showed signs of what was to come.

Robben has proved himself to be one of the most exciting talents in the world, able to run with the ball at pace, score sublime goals and create for others with a fine range of passing. With Robben and Duff playing a two-pronged support role to a sole striker there was little opposing sides could do to stop the Blues. And Robben bagged four goals in his first seven Premiership starts.

Information from soccernet.com