The talk of Arsene Wenger signing a new striker has quietened in recent days after the Arsenal manager received some good news regarding Nicklas Bendtner’s injury. The Dane is expected back in the next two weeks and so Wenger is in no rush to sign a striker. The club retains an interest in Marouane Chamakh, but are happy to wait till the end of the season to get their man. The decision not to pursue another striker is a sign of the great faith Wenger has in Bendtner. He is a player that many do not rate; certainly nobody rates the player as highly as he rates himself. In the absence of van Persie, Bendtner has an opportunity this season to really announce himself as one of the best young players in the world and silence his doubters.
Bendtner will be 22 when he returns to the Arsenal first team, and he has already had quite an eventful career: a successful loan spell at Birmingham City, an on-the-field altercation with Emmanuel Adebayor, a car crash, and a photograph depicting him with his trousers down. Amidst all of this, a player of great potential has been developing at Arsenal; he is viewed by many with disdain on account of his sizeable ego, but this will not bother him. Bendtner has a tremendous amount of self-belief and aims to be the top scorer in the Premier League within the next 5 years and to be seen as a world-class striker. Lofty ambitions perhaps, but better to have ambitions than to settle for mediocrity as many players do.
He has been described as arrogant by some and he displays the sort of confidence that the British public and press do not always look kindly upon. Described by some pundits as a ‘clodhopper’, Bendtner perhaps lacks the deft touch and pure technical ability of some of his Arsenal teammates, but make no mistake; he is a hugely talented footballer with a bright future. Last season he scored 15 goals in all competitions for Arsenal despite often being deployed from the bench; a very impressive season for a 21-year-old by any standards. If he was an Englishman, he would be hailed as the second coming and would be capped internationally. As it is, he is a key man for the Denmark team that finished above Portugal in World Cup Qualifying.
This season has been less productive for Bendtner as he has only scored the one goal in a season that has been truncated by injuries; he also not been helped by having to play out of position on the right, though to his credit he has done so without complaint. His imminent return gives Bendtner the opportunity to lead the line for Arsenal; he is a tall, strong player and he will be well suited to playing as the target-man. He will have a lot of responsibility on his shoulders this season as he and Eduardo will be the only recognised strikers in the Arsenal squad; the next few months could be the most important in his development. Bendtner has talked a big game for some time now; the time is approaching for him to walk the walk.