Football

Bendtner can be Arsenal's saviour

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Arsenal were heavily linked with a striker throughout the summer.

Ahead of the transfer window closing at 11pm on September 2, a last-minute loan move for Chelsea's Demba Ba fell through while their long-running pursuit of Liverpool's wantaway frontman Luis Suarez failed to come to anything.

So one thing is clear; Arsene Wenger was on the lookout for striking reinforcements - and understandably so.

If leading striker Olivier Giroud was to suffer a long-term injury, Arsenal would only have Lukas Podolski, Yaya Sanogo and Theo Walcott as genuine attacking options, with the latter susceptible to injury.

Having flogged Moroccan flop Marouane Chamakh to Crystal Palace for absolutely nothing, Wenger's frontline is looking threadbare and his hand has been forced. So, out from the cold, in comes forgotten man Nicklas Bendtner.

For a guy with an ego the size of Bendtner's, being beyond recollection must be particularly painful. But the Danish international has long been out the first-team picture at the Emirates, clocking up the air miles and taking in a number of loan spells away from north London.

The most recent of those came with Juventus, where the 25-year-old's reputation took something of a hammering. Juventus moved to sign Fernando Llorente on a pre-contract deal in January, while Bendtner found his first-team opportunities severely limited.

Having failed to score a single goal during his stay in Turin, it comes as no surprise to see the big Dane back at the Emirates with potential suitors in short supply.

Bendtner’s strong sense of self-worth and high salary at Arsenal have proved prohibitive to finalising a move away from the club, but now Wenger has turned to the player in his hour of need - who believe it or not, has a strong record at international level.

With 22 goals from 55 appearances for his country, people forget that on his day, Bendtner is a real handful. Powerful in the air and effective in front of goal - I did say on his day, remember - the great Dane can offer Arsenal something different.

No-one can doubt his ability - the real question marks surround Bendtner's application, or should I say, lack of. Wenger's sides are always built around a strong team ethic while Bendtner has become renowned for believing his own hype and putting himself first. Justified? Maybe, but if Wenger can successfully manage the controversial striker, he may well solve Arsenal's striking dilemma without spending a penny.

"I want to assure all Arsenal fans that I will give everything I have to contribute," Bendtner said in a recent statement.

"Many things have been said about my where my future lies after many years at Arsenal. The truth is I just want to play football which is when I'm happiest and Arsenal is a fantastic environment for any professional to apply their trade.

"Following positive talks with the manager, I am looking forward to working hard to regain full fitness and doing my very best to help the team and the manager fulfil our objectives and ambitions this season."

As the age-old saying goes, actions speak louder than words. But if Bendtner is true to his words, he is capable of not only forcing his way back into the reckoning at Arsenal, but he can solve Wenger's striker dilemma, making the Gunners expensive pursuit of Suarez seem like a near miss rather than the one that got away...

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Topics:
Football
Arsenal
Nicklas Bendtner
Premier League

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