Arsenal flop Nicklas Bendtner has launched a sensational, scathing attack on his former club and manager Arsene Wenger, claiming that he “wasted” his last year the Emirates Stadium.
The Denmark international, who spent around nine years on the books at Arsenal, transferred to VfL Wolfsburg this summer after seeing his contract expire in north London. However, rather than be thankful for the time and effort invested in him during his formative years as a professional player, Bendtner told German publication Bild that he was annoyed at how Wenger had withdrawn him from a loan spell at Juventus.
Bendtner at Arsenal
Long ostracised by the Arsenal faithful for his inability to find the back of the net, Bendtner was sent out on several loan spells as Wenger looked to give him regular game-time rather than have him rot on the Gunners’ bench. Birmingham City, Sunderland and then Juventus all took the tall forward on temporary spells, though he never really flourished at any of those clubs.
Juventus, being the last to have him on loan, saw Bendtner sign for them whilst he had two years remaining on his deal with Arsenal. Though his time in Turin was successful with regards to the club’s achievements - they won the Serie A title - he was recalled by Wenger, who Bendtner says wanted him back at his parent club.
Bendtner’s controversial comments
“I played regularly for Juventus until I got injured. At Arsenal I barely played. My last year was wasted there,” the 26-year-old said.
“I was loaned to Juve. It went well there. I played regularly, and I was fit. Then I got injured, had to miss the next six months.
“We were champions, I wanted to stay. But Arsenal took me back. I wasted a year there. That annoys me the most.”
The situation may “annoy” Bendtner, but his comments will almost certainly evoke the ire of a host of Gunners fans. Though the forward claims to have been playing regularly at Juventus in actual fact he only made nine first-team appearances domestically, scoring a grand total of no goals.
That, on top of Wenger’s dire need for a striker to act as a backup to Olivier Giroud, meant that the Frenchman had little choice to attempt to rectify the issue by bringing Bendtner back into the Arsenal fold. During his last season the Dane notched up eight Premier League appearances, finding the back of the net twice in the process.
Since the departure of the misfiring forward Wenger has acted decisively to ensure that he has adequate numbers to choose from when it comes to who leads his line. An early-season injury to Giroud had fans initially worried that youngster Yaya Sanogo would be the only realistic option, but both Alexis Sanchez and ex-Manchester United ace Danny Welbeck has been purchased to ease the burden.
As well as those players Wenger also has Joel Campbell waiting in the wings to be given a proper shot in the first-team. The Costa Rica international was in fine form at the World Cup, and produced some dazzling displays for Olympiacos last term, but has struggled to break into the Gunners’ starting XI.