Does Nicklas Bendtner care about playing football?

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Nicklas Bendtner scored a fantastic header from a Cesc Fabregas corner kick just seconds after coming on as a 73rd minute substitute against Tottenham Hotspur in the 2008/2009 season. 

It is the moment most Arsenal fans will always fondly remember whenever the name Nicklas Bendtner is mentioned. 

He had just returned from a successful season-long loan at Birmingham City and at that point in his the young career; Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger had high hopes for him. 

He was seen as someone that would go on to displace Emmanuel Adebayor at Arsenal and become the undisputed first choice striker for a long time.

Now fast forward to the summer of 2013, Arsenal are on tour in Asia without Bendtner who has not put on an Arsenal shirt since August 2011. 

We find a Bendtner who spent the entire 2012/2013 season on loan at Juventus and suffered the ignominy of failing to score a single goal throughout the entire campaign. 

It is thus no surprise that Juventus have sent him back to Arsenal, replacing him with Fernando Llorente and Carlos Tevez.

So the question has to be asked, where did it all go wrong for Bendtner? For a young man so full of confidence and belief in himself and his abilities, the sky was supposed to be the limit. 

According to The Daily Mail: "Bendtner has been confident enough to strip naked beside the wreckage of his car after careering off the A1; he has been confident enough, at 22, to ask a 34-year-old member of the Danish royal family if she would care to join him on a date. He was also even confident enough to ask the then Arsenal striker Eduardo da Silva if he would mind giving him Arsenal's No 9 shirt." 

Bendtner’s confidence was enough to sway Baroness Caroline Luel-Brockdorff towards himself although he was never able to lay his hands on Arsenal’s No 9 jersey.

In an interview with John Cross of The Mirror on November 10, 2009, Bendtner said: “I want to be top scorer in the Premier League, top scorer at the World Cup (South Africa 2010) and, within five years, I want to be among the best strikers in the world. Trust me, it will happen. I look around at other players, I see my own ability and I can’t see anything that tells me it won’t happen.” 

“I’m sure people will think 'What is he talking about?’ But as I have done before, and as I will do again, I will sit at the other end and laugh at those people when it is all done."  

According to The Daily Mail, Bendtner was fined £5000 after he was caught driving an uninsured £40000 Audi without a driver’s license. The Mail also reported that he was handed a 6 month driving ban in March for driving drunk in Denmark . 

His problems are not restricted to the roads though. At Euro 2012, Bendtner was at the centre of the biggest non-footballing story when he celebrated a goal against Portugal with his pants visible in what was thought to have been an advertising stunt from bookmakers Paddy Power. Many would think that Bendtner would curtail his off-field issues and concentrate on resurrecting his career but it seems football has suddenly become less of a priority for him. 

Since 2011, when he last put on the Arsenal shirt, Bendtner has played for Sunderland and Juventus and it is unfortunate to note that as a striker, he failed to score a single goal while at Juventus.

Earlier in the summer, media reports stated that Bendtner was in talks with five different clubs with a view to joining one of them but at the moment, he is yet to have sorted out his future with his high wage demands proving to be an issue with the clubs. 

Bendtner even admitted he was willing to take a step down to a non-Champions League club but then forgets that these clubs will not pay Champions League wages. 

Malaga could have afforded to meet his wage demands but reports have it that they turned him down due to his off field behaviours.  

This is a big season for Bendtner and if he decided to run down his contract at Arsenal while sitting on the bench, it would definitely come with two big consequences. 

Firstly, with no goal in his last season with Juventus and possibly no meaningful appearance for Arsenal in the forthcoming season, he will struggle to find a new club for the 2014/2015 season. 

Secondly, the World Cup comes up next summer and Bendtner needs to ask himself if he really wants to be on the plane to Brazil should Denmark qualify for the finals.

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