Many Arsenal fans were surprised to see flamboyant striker Nicklas Bendtner pull on an Arsenal shirt again last week. Following two years on loan it seemed likely that the striker would be leaving the Emirates in the summer. But following Arsenal’s failed pursuit of Luis Suarez and Gonzalo Higuain, they were left with only Olivier Giroud up front, meaning that they couldn’t afford to let Bendtner go. The Danish international has never doubted his own ability, despite many others doing so. But just how good is he?
He has been with the Gunners, who are currently 3.75 with http://casino.betway.com to be the top English Premier League club come next May, since 2004. At youth-level he was the most exciting prospect at the club, top-scoring in the reserve league aged 17. At 18 he joined Birmingham on-loan where he scored 11 goals in 42 games. For a young player experiencing competitive football for the first time that isn’t too bad.
As for Arsenal, he has scored 22 league goals in 99 games. Not the most impressive scoring ratio, but if you take into consideration the fact that he has never been an undisputed starter, having played second fiddle to Robin Van Persie and Emmanuel Adebayor (who head-butted Bendtner during a game), you can see that he is an efficient impact sub, epitomised by his famous goal against Tottenham, scored 1.8 seconds after coming on.
Even on the international stage Bendtner has been very impressive; 22 goals in 55 games for Denmark is a very healthy return.
Bendtner has shown glimpses that he is the world-class player he thinks he is, but sadly only glimpses. At this moment in time he’s not shown enough to justify a starting place at Arsenal, but he has a role to play at the Emirates as an impact sub. Could he be Arsenal’s version of fellow Scandinavian Ole Gunnar Solskjaer?
Wenger was right to retain Bendtner; he is a good player who still has something to offer the club. Now he just needs to start scoring when given the opportunity to play to win over his numerous critics.
What are your thoughts?