When it comes to Nicklas Bendtner the problem for Arsenal isn’t so much whether to sell him, but how to sell him. Despite an overwhelming sense of self-confidence the big Dane seems impossible to move on. Fortunately then, his Arsenal contract runs out at the end of this season and he has shown nothing to suggest that he’s worthy of an extension in the summer. It genuinely seems that Bendtner has played his last game in an Arsenal shirt. Surely that’s worthy of a sigh of relief?
So what does the future hold for the lanky Messiah? At 24-years-old, you’d think he had actualised any potential he had as a youngster. Unfortunately, he still has a long way to go. Though he’s capable of delivering sweet finishes, his goals come too few and far between. There’s a whole catalogue of disappointing Bendtner misses out there in the world, the worst of which includes a catastrophic miss against Barcelona in the second leg of their Champions League showdown last year.
What’s more, beyond goals he offers very little to a team. He seems to drift out to the right and provide very little movement off the ball. When the ball does arrive at his feet he tends to lumber over to the penalty area and more often than not lose the ball before he can get off a shot.
He’s more or less plagued by inconsistency but I don’t feel that there is enough underlying talent for a top Premier League team to back him.
He’s currently on loan at Sunderland – in a deal that I assume was with an eye for a permanent move – but his chances of staying at the Stadium of Light when the season comes to a close are dwindling. He hasn’t even been a regular starter under Martin O’Neill, who seems to see past his ego for the empty, platitudinous bulk that never really exerts itself.
So if Bendtner is to have a future I doubt it will be in the Premier League. He’d be ideally suited to somewhere with a slower pace, so that rules out Spain. Quotes have appeared in the media recently suggesting he wouldn’t say no to a move to the Russian Premier League:
“There are a lot of very strong players going to Russia, players who previously wouldn’t have done so, I am fine for the moment and I will look at the options available to me when the time comes. You can never say never in football.”
He’d join the likes of Nicolas Anelka, Samuel Eto’o, Andrey Arshavin, Roman Pavlyuchenko and Christopher Samba in an increasingly competitive, but not yet EPL-level League. Indeed, this could be the perfect testing ground for Bendtner to prove that his words aren’t just hollow and that beneath all the bravado lies some real ability.
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