Nicklas Bendtner, Arsenal’s Danish striker is a funny character. Despite being with the Gunners for six years and being the world’s most confident man, he has thus far been unable to establish himself as a first-choice forward. Throughout his time he has mostly been regarded as a squad player to be brought on when Arsene Wenger needs to add some height to his offence. This season has seen even fewer opportunities for Bendtner than usual and the Danish striker has made just three starts in the Premier League this year.
The lack of opportunity results from a combination of how Arsene Wenger sets out his team and Robin Van Persie’s remarkable form this year. Wenger usually packs out the midfield and leaves Robin Van Persie to fight it out alone up top and it’s a formation that has often reaped benefits for the Gunners. It’s a consequence of this formation however, that the likes of Nicklas Bentner and Marouane Chamakh don’t get much of a look in.
Arsene Wenger recently spoke to the Press about the big Dane’s future: “I completely agree that he did not get enough chances, it was a very difficult season for him. He must be frustrated and I am as well because I feel he was not involved enough.” Wenger then went on to say: “I will sit down with Nicklas at the end of the season to see how he feels” – remarks that Arseblog noted are remarkable similar to the comments he made whilst weighing up Eduardo’s options before selling him at the end of last season.
So there’s every chance that the 23-year-old is on his way out at the Emirates. He joins a list of players including Emmanuel Eboue, Denilson, Abou Diaby and Gael Clichy whose days appear to be numbered at Arsenal football club. The question now is whether it would be worth keeping hold of Bendtner, or if it’s time to say goodbye.
My personal feeling is that it’s time to let him go and to bring in an experienced replacement. I know that many Arsenal fans will be keen to keep hold of Bendtner as a squad player, but the Gunners can do so much better. Arsenal have been let down massively this season by the quality of their squad players. Whilst their first team is as good as anybody’s in the Premier League, when Arsenal pick up injuries and have to fill in with players like Eboue, Denilson and Bendtner they look a much weaker side.
This is something Wenger has to work on over the summer. I know that Bendtner has goals to his game, but you’d never hear him described as a ‘clinical’ striker. He seems to miss more opportunities than he scores (I’m at this moment recalling the dying moments of the second leg against Barcelona in this season’s Champion’s League) and he simply doesn’t have a conversion rate becoming of a top Premier League striker. Moments like his hat-trick against Leyton Orient in the FA Cup this season just don’t happen often enough and he just doesn’t appear to have Wenger’s trust when it comes to bigger games.
That’s before we’ve even touched upon Bendtner’s abysmal first touch and lack of pace. Given the way Arsenal play and the Gunners need to improve their squad, I wouldn’t be too sad to see the big Dane leave this summer. In fact, it might be the best move for both parties as Bendtner is sure to be seeking regular games in order to further his footballing development.
Read more of Harry’s articles at This Is Futbol
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