Former Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner believes the succession of injuries he suffered during his time in north London is to blame for his failure to make the grade at the Emirates Stadium.
The Denmark international was finally ditched by Arsene Wenger last summer after nine disappointing years with the Gunners, during which time he never really made much of an impact with the Premier League giants.
Bendtner spent a significant amount of time away from the club on loan, taking in temporary spells with Birmingham City, Sunderland and Juventus before eventually leaving Arsenal permanently to join Bundesliga outfit VfL Wolfsburg at the start of this season.
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However, the 27-year-old's struggles have continued in Germany having contributed just five goals in 28 appearances in all competitions, which has left him on the periphery of Dieter Hecking's starting XI.
Bendtner has been forced to play second fiddle to 17-goal striker Bas Dost for much of his debut campaign at the Volkswagen Arena, but is determined to keep fighting for his place and prove he has what it takes to be a success with Die Wolfe.
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"I still love football, but it can be difficult to love where you are in your career," admitted the Arsenal reject in an interview with FourFourTwo magazine. "I wish I hadn't been injured so much, because I think my career could have looked very different.
"When you move a lot between teams and countries, it can be tough to adapt at first."
Bendtner's ill-fated spell in England is remembered for his off-field antics as much as anything he produced on the pitch for Arsenal, but the Dane is adamant his reputation in the media is a misrepresentation of the player and person he actually is, and suggested that footballers are poorly treated by the press.
"In a way, [footballers] are treated unfairly," he said. "I don't think people should be held to what they said nine years ago, for example.
"On the other hand, we have a responsibility to our clubs as well. But we all make mistakes, and sometimes we're provoked. For example, if I'm in a bar, a club or a restaurant, people might hit me in the back, or throw something at me. I know that if I react, I'll be in the paper.
"That has happened to me on numerous occasions – far more often than it is ever written about."
There's no doubt that Bendtner has the ability to forge a successful career in professional football, but whilst he continues to underwhelm on the pitch he is always going to be labelled as a risk not worth taking.
With just 32 goals in 136 appearances during his time at Arsenal the writing is on the wall for a player that is now approaching what should be his best years.
The three-year contract he penned with the Lower Saxony side at least gives him a little bit of security. Now it's time for Bendtner to prove he's got what it takes to be a success in the Bundesliga.
Arsenal fans: Were you sad to see Nicklas Bendtner leave north London? Was Arsene Wenger right to get rid of him? Have your say below...
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