In the Summer of 2004, Nicklas Bendtner began his professional career by signing for Arsenal Football Club at the tender age of just Sixteen. He rapidly rose through the ranks of the Arsenal youth system, impressively making his first team debut just a year later.[quote_right]”We now find ourselves asking if Bendtner has any Arsenal future at all…”[/quote_right]
As a result, his name quickly circulated around the Footballing world as a hot prospect for the future.
Bendtner went on to score 22 goals for Arsenal in 99 appearances, 59 of which were from the bench. The tall, confident Dane was absolutely certain that he would become a world great.
However, despite his promising beginnings, we now find ourselves asking if Nicklas Bendtner has any Arsenal future at all.
So - what happened?
[blockquote]””Within five years I want to be the top scorer in the Premier League and I want to be known as a world-class striker. And it will happen. Trust me, it will happen. I look around at other players, I see my own ability and I can’t see anything that tells me it won’t happen. I’m sure people will think ‘What is he talking about?’ But as I have done before, and as I will do again, I will sit at the other end and laugh at those people when it is all done.” - Nicklas Bendtner (2009)[/blockquote]
[title]Feet Firmly In The Skies[/title]
During his time at Arsenal, Bendtner showed glimpses of class, yet his performances were lazy in general. His self-indulged attitude off the pitch left a sour taste in the mouth of many Arsenal fans, and thus his days as an Arsenal player always seemed to be numbered.[quote_left]”[Bendtner is] hardly the world-class striker he was hoping to turn in to…”[/quote_left]
However, despite Bendtner’s big mouth and small performances, Arsene Wenger decided to loan the Danish International to Sunderland. Throughout the 2011/2013 season, Bendtner made 28 appearances for Sunderland, scoring 8 times.
Confusion over Bendtner’s future was compounded when, instead of returning to Arsenal, Bendtner was sent straight out to Juventus, where he was to spend yet another year on loan.
As the footballing year approaches its climax, Nicklas has made just 8 appearances for Juventus, failing to score any goals. Hardly the world-class striker he was hoping to turn in to.
But it hasn’t been all bad. Bendtner yet again showed his quality in the Euro 2012 tournament, where he won his 50th cap for Denmark, scoring a brace against Portugal in a narrow 3-2 defeat in the process.
[title]Step up or Step Aside[/title]
At the time of writing, Nicklas Bendtner is 25 years old. The time has certainly arrived for the big Dane to either step up, or step aside.
His attitude and style of play has always divided the opinion of fans, and after two years out on loan, scoring just 8 times in total, it’s difficult to see how Bendtner can live up to his dream of world superiority. As this season comes to an end, both Bendtner and Arsenal, find themselves at a crossroads.[quote_right]”As this season comes to an end, both Bendtner and Arsenal, find themselves at a crossroads.”[/quote_right]
So, what are we to do with a problem like Bendtner?
Despite two separate wake up calls in the shape of Sunderland and the Juventus bench, his poor performances have yet again been compounded by even more misbehaviour off the pitch. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem likely that the Dane will change his ways, and so Arsenal must look to offload him to free up space as well as funds.
Some readers may recall that in 2012, Bendtner was included in my post, Sling Your Hook: Four Arsenal Players We Wont Miss. I called for his sale back then, and I haven’t since changed my mind.
What do you think we should do with Nicklas Bendtner? Take part in the Poll below and share your views in the comments section!