The news that we have all feared has come to pass…Arsenal’s very own self-titled ‘World’s Greatest Striker’ Nicklas Bendtner is set for up to three months on the sidelines after picking up a hamstring injury during Juventus’ 1-0 Coppa Italia victory over Cagliari on Wednesday.
The on-loan striker has featured only eight times and has yet to get on the scoresheet. He may now face the reality of yet another disastrous season as he may not feature until March in the New Year, leaving little time to make a further impression for the Old Lady.
A statement on juventus.com read:
Nicklas Bendtner has undergone an MRI scan and ultrasound that have revealed a lesion on his left adductor tendon. The prognosis will become clearer after further examinations which the Danish striker will undergo in the coming days.
While the opening statement seemed highly sarcastic, the situation is hardly ideal for Arsenal. Wenger needs to offload the Danish international permanently and he needed a solid loan spell to re-spark the form that he is quite capable of, which in turn would have upped his market value.
But it seems that in order to sell him next summer Arsenal will have to settle for a lower fee then the £8-10m they were hoping for.
Yet more bad news in the media for Gooners as it seems that Arsene Wenger had in fact lined up a replacement for the departed Alex Song over the summer, but lost out to arch rivals the Spuds.
Jan Vertonghen was attracting a lot of interest from England, especially from North London, however the Belgian chose to forgo the opportunity to be reunited with former team mate and compatriot Thomas Vermaelen and headed to White Hart Lane instead.
According to the versatile defender, he received an offer from Arsenal in the summer – but turned it down because they wanted him to play as a holding midfielder.
Alex Song was sold needlessly and perhaps Arsene Wenger believed he already had a replacement in Vertonghen but it fell through, he told Dutch website NUsport:
(Arsenal’s interest) was concrete, but they wanted me to be a controller in the midfield, an Emmanuel Petit-type. I’m not afraid of competition, but the overall picture of Spurs appealed to me more..
Ultimately, I just came to play at centre back. Gareth Bale had to play left back, but it did not work so he pushed forward and I moved to full-back. I see myself still as a centre-back. I’m not agile enough to play against players like Nani and [Raheem] Sterling.
Vertonghen would have been an excellent buy. The Gunners clearly lack depth in a variety of defensive positions including the holding midfield role and at left back. He could also have been rotated with Vermaelen from time to time, and at present Arsenal need sufficient backup at centre-half with Koscielny sidelined.
The Gunners clearly need versatile options at the back, and the Belgian international would have been a perfect acquisition especially as the Spuds only bought him for £9 million, an absolute bargain. But as he stated he was not keen on playing as a midfielder.
Perhaps a bit of sneakiness was in order, similar to the signing of Podolski who probably expected to be played as a centre forward, Wenger could have coerced Vertonghen to sign by promising a mixed role but predominately at centre-back, as well as at left back and as a defensive midfielder. Such a shame as Arsenal might not be in this spot of bother if the Board had sanctioned a higher bid and out-priced the Spuds.
What are your thoughts on the Belgian’s comments or Bendtner’s injury? Both a bit of a blow really, Vertonghen should have been a Gunner last winter transfer window when he was relatively available and Bendtner needs to up his game so Arsenal can finally sell him. Feel free to comment below or in allArsenal’s forum.