Arsenal signed Nicklas Bendtner in the summer of 2004 and nine years later, he's still at the Emirates, wallowing in mediocrity at a club that doesn't want him.

Gunners fans hoped that they'd seen the last of the towering striker this summer, after a number of clubs reportedly inquired after the player. 

Bendtner however, demanded wages that Eintracht Frankfurt, a club that had showed genuine interest in him and were in fact at the stage of agreeing personal terms, were unable to match. 

The Dane seems to suffer from a wildly inflated ego: probably bolstered by his weekly salary of £50,000.

"After weighing up all the arguements, Bendtner turned out not to be a realistic prospect," said club chairman, Heribert Bruchhagen.

Problem is Bendtner in Bendtner's head is much better than Bendtner in reality. He has had so many chances to prove himself. 

Arsene Wenger plucked him from relative obscurity at FC Copenhagen's feeder club, Kjobenhavns Boldklub, aged just 16. After a promising loan spell at Birmingham, Olympique Lyonnais and AC Milan both reportedly showed interest in the striker, but the teenager returned to Arsenal with the intention of cementing himself in the starting line-up.

However, when back with the Gunners in 2007, the first cracks began to show. On his first Premier League start, on a day when impressing the coaching staff, teammates and fans was imperative, Bendtner was sent off for two bookable offences. 

Later in the same season, the Dane got involved in a heated, on-pitch altercation with fellow Arsenal player, Emmanuel Adebayor, narrowly avoiding formal action from the FA after the Togolese striker publicly apologised on the club's website.

In the 2008-09 season, Bendtner enjoyed a little more success, and the fans began to warm to him, after his 87 minute winner against Dynamo Kyiv in the Champions League and 15 goals for the club in all competitions. 

Yet again however, the striker managed to put a dampener on what seemed to be something of a fulcrum in his career. After Arsenal were knocked out of the Premier League by Manchester United, he was photographed leaving a nightclub with his jeans around his ankles and was forced to apologise on the club website.

After recovering from a car crash in September and a groin injury in November, Bendtner's golden hour came in March 2010, with a hat-trick against FC Porto: the striker managing to turn Arsenal's 2-1 first-leg loss on its head and winning the club's player of the month in the process.

Next season saw a string of average performances from the striker, Bendtner only really excelling against poor opposition. He scored Arsenal's goal of the month in January against Ipswich Town and followed it with a hat-trick in Arsenal's FA Cup clash with Leyton Orient in March. 

However, after six years with the club, Bendtner still failed to show what Wenger had seen in him at 16, fans slowly realising that the Dane was an increasingly mediocre and inconsistent striker.

At Sunderland Bendtner scored eight goals in 28 League appearances and, despite a promising start at the Stadium of Light, he never seemed to quite find his feet.

Wenger stubbornly refused to give up on what he still thought could become a first-rate striker for the club, and Bendtner was again sent out on loan to Serie 'A' to join Juventus. 

This was his golden opportunity. Playing for a big-name club, all he had to do was to put in a string of impressive performances, net a couple of goals in domestic and European matches and get his career back on track. Instead, he failed to score a single goal for the club, and unsurprisingly, Juventus made no attempts to make the move permanent at the end of the season.

So now Bendtner finds himself in the awkward position of having a year left on his contract at a club that doesn't want him. He's 25-years-old and should he make a fresh start at a new club somewhere in Europe, he has every chance of reviving his career. 

As a young player with some ability, money must come secondary to regular first-team appearances. Malaga have entered discussions with Arsenal about a swap-deal involving defender and club captain Jesus Gamez. 

Bendtner would be stupid not to grab whatever offer the Spanish side push his way. However, after his comments in 2011 defending his £50,000 weekly earnings, wages are likely to be the stumbling block once again.

"There is a price to pay as well for us players. Personally, I think I pay a big price with my body, my time and with never being able to have privacy when I am out and around other people."

 

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Topics:
Premier League
Nicklas Bendtner
Football
Arsenal