“I am tired of being portrayed as an idiot” – Nicklas Bendtner, December 6, 2015.
These are the words that finally suggested everyone’s favourite footballing clown might be about to turn a corner. But months later he had left Wolfsburg after posting a picture of himself alongside a Mercedes. Innocent enough? Wolfsburg’s main sponsors are rival car manufacturer Volkswagen.
It’s been never-ending outbursts of public attention that have kept Nicklas Bendtner’s footballing career ticking along over the past few years. Nothing he’s done on the pitch has reminded us of the talent he once showed during his time with Birmingham City. When he was released from the Wolfsburg, many wondered if that might be it when it came to his professional career.
But one club stepped up and took a huge risk and it was Phillipe Montanier’s Nottingham Forest. They’re paying the Dane big wages and there is quite a bit of pressure on his shoulders.
Forest are in need of some quality players and after the departure of Oliver Burke to RB Leipzig earlier in the summer, supporters have become frustrated with the emerging selling mantra at the club. Mustapha Carayol was brought in as somewhat of a replacement but we’ll see whether the former Boro man can cut the mustard, just as we will with Bendtner.
Atmosphere in the dressing room is always a huge part of success and Forest will be looking to press for the promotion places come the end of the season. Bendtner is a notorious outcast who often blames his team-mates for his inability to score. This is the sort of player that has replaced young star and fan favourite Oliver Burke and it’s safe to say there is a real air of concern breezing around the City Ground.
But putting fun, games and controversies to one side for just a minute, what exactly can the Dane, who has been capped over 70 times for the Danish national team, bring to the Forest side?
Well, if we’re being honest, we’re not really sure. His strongest season came back in the 2008/09 campaign where he played over 50 times for Arsenal, scoring fifteen goals. He had a decent loan spell with Birmingham City a couple of years previously, but apart from that we haven’t seen much from Bendtner since.
He’s scored on 19 occasions in the past five years, in spells at Sunderland, Arsenal, Juventus and Wolfsburg. It doesn’t make for fantastic reading and Bendtner has plenty of people to convince in the couple of years ahead, not least the Forest supporters.
There are many hoping he can settle and show some good form in the season ahead. If Forest are to push for automatic promotion they’ll need all the help they can get from their new signing, who will need to switch on right away.
Bendtner says he’s here for the love of the sport and not the cash. Do you believe him?