Football

Nicklas Bendtner linked with surprise Southampton switch

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Southampton are reportedly mulling over a summer move for Arsenal misfit Nicklas Bendtner according to Metro, who could provide experienced international cover for Rickie Lambert on a free transfer as Ronald Koeman looks to reshape the squad in his own image.

Lambert agreed a dream switch to Anfield before leaving for World Cup duty last month, which with last season's strike partner Jay Rodriguez sidelined has left Saints searching for a new striker.

Bendtner would fit the bill but represent a massive gamble for new Saints manager Ronaldo Koeman, after being allowed to leave Arsenal for nothing once his contract expired earlier this week.

Danish delight or danger?

The 26-year-old is at risk of letting huge potential go to waste after allowing his career to stutter in recent years, with loan spells at Sunderland and Juventus followed by a surprise return to the Arsenal fold last year failing to reverse that trend.

Two goals in 14 appearances last season were not enough to convince Arsene Wenger that the much-maligned marksman deserved a new contract, with the final nail in the coffin sealed by an embarrassing, unauthorised trip back to Denmark which featured a sorry episode involving with a local taxi driver.

Redemption on the South Coast

Long before that incident the writing was on the wall for Bendtner at the Emirates, with Wenger losing faith in a striker with immense physical presence but huge questions marks in terms of attitude and commitment.

There have been times where Bendtner has hinted as his raw potential in the English game though, particularly during a productive spell at Birmingham City under Steve Bruce, which may be enough to persuade Koeman he's worth a punt on a free transfer.

Competition

Saints have a huge transfer budget to drive recruitment under Koeman after selling club captain Adam Lallana and England international Luke Shaw, funds that would easily them the club meet Bendtner's wage demands and complete a quick summer deal if they so choose.

Three different Bundesliga clubs have also approached Bendntner over the last twelve months, but the likes of Eintracht Frankfurt and Hamburg have baulked at excessive salary requests.

Thanks to player sales which will no doubt leave Saints fans devastated they can beat those clubs to Bendtner's signature, while also possessing a bigger lure than Crystal Palace, a club who were within hours of signing the Danish hitman last summer.

A reunion with Steve Bruce at Hull City plus a surprise switch to newly-promoted Burnley have also been tabled as options for Bendnter, a player who desperately needs consistent first-team football in the right environment next season.

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Topics:
Nicklas Bendtner
Southampton
Premier League
Arsenal
Football

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