By Adrian Curtis
ARGENTINA striker Hernan Crespo insists Chelsea hold the key to his future at Stamford Bridge after admitting he still misses Italy.
Crespo, who spent last season on loan with AC Milan, has two years left on his current Chelsea contract but there has been intense speculation that he will move back to Italy in the summer.
The 30-year-old is happy to stay for as long as the champions want him but the ultimate decision lies with the club. "In the last four summers I have changed teams, so I don’t know what will happen next summer," admitted Crespo.
"I’m sure it’s not my decision; it will be Chelsea’s decision. If they are very happy to keep me here then I will stay."
Crespo, who cost Chelsea £16.8 million from Inter Milan in 2003, has been in exceptional form this season, scoring 12 goals in all competitions.
But he initially failed to settle in London and was shipped out on loan last season to AC Milan, where he helped the Italians reach the final of the Champions League, scoring twice in the final against Liverpool.
Crespo admits he still misses Italy. "I am homesick, but that is normal," he said. "I miss so many little things, but I’m a professional player and I play in a big team and I play in a team who have a lot of opportunities to win.
"I don’t know how many teams permit me to play at a high level or allow me to win a lot of trophies like Chelsea. So why do I need to change?"
Crespo is pleased with his goal ratio after ‘job sharing’ with Didier Drogba and he will be looking to add to his tally against Middlesbrough today.
Although the Argentinian makes no secret of the fact he would love to play more games, he says Mourinho made it very clear he would have to share the burden of goal-scoring with his rival.
"He (Mourinho) told me: ‘I have two great strikers, Didier and you and I select one of you depending on the kind of match.’
"Now I have more space because Didier went to the African Cup but when the manager is clear, everything is clear.
"The most important thing is you win the trophy. If you win the trophy everything else is second.
"When Didier comes back we will start again. We have now two or three very hard months and we need everybody. It’s impossible for me or him to play all the matches."
Crespo leapt to the defence of Dutch winger Arjen Robben after he was accused of getting Liverpool keeper Jose Reina sent off last Sunday.
"Everybody spoke about Robben and it surprised me because they didn’t talk about this great match we played against a great team. I ask why Reina goes into a scissor tackle against Gudjohnsen, why he puts his hand in the face of Robben?" he said.