Born in Copenhagen, Denmark, Nicklas Bendtner was touted to be a star for the Gunners when he signed from Kjobenhavns Boldkulb.
The tall Dane made his debut for Arsenal in a League Cup match against Sunderland, coming on as a substitute in the dying minutes of the match at the Stadium Of Light.
Clearly, Arsene Wenger saw something special and he decided to loan him out to Championship side Birmingham, where he went onto score 11 goals in 42 appearances.
On returning from his loan spell at Birmingham, Arsene Wenger decided to keep him at Arsenal as opposed to sending him out on loan again.
The decision to keep him paid off when he scored against Tottenham. After coming on for Emmanuel Eboue, he scored with his first touch barely two seconds in a 2-1 win to versus Tottenham; an unstoppable header off a Fabregas corner.
Bendtner, then only 20, was destined for greatness. At least that’s what we all thought. Since then, he really has not done anything special. Yes, he did score a hat-trick against FC Porto in the knockout stages, which helped Arsenal go through to the next round over-turning their first leg 2-1 loss. But such performances were few and far between.
Since then, he has gone on loan to Sunderland and Juventus, only succeeding at the former, scoring eight league goals and failing to impress at the latter, amassing very few league appearances, failing to score a single goal.
His career so far hasn’t turned out to be a big success as everyone had foreseen when he was a 19-year-old playing in the Champions League for one of Europe’s best clubs.
But why did he fail?
Due to the presence of top-class strikers like Emmanuel Adebayor, Robin van Persie and Thierry Henry, he was never going to make it as a first team player at the London club. Yet, Wenger gave him chances to prove his worth to the Gunners folklore.
He was sometimes played on the wing. A target man on the wing? This poor decision by Wenger, clearly hampered his development as a centre-forward. Of course, Arsene Wenger has been successful in converting wingers into centre-forwards before. Van Persie, Henry and Theo Walcott are all great examples, but the Bendtner experiment didn’t pay off.
His over confidence has been a massive issue. His confidence in his own ability made him somewhat of a laughing stock, especially when he constantly reminded fans that he had trouble hitting a barn door with a banjo.
And to add to this, Bendtner scored 10 out of a maximum of 9 in a self-confidence test conducted by Jaques Crevoisier, a psychiatrist at Arsenal and this is what he had to say about it: “On a scale up to 9, Bendtner got 10! We have never seen that before. Pat Rice was sitting next to me and couldn’t stop laughing.
"When Bendtner misses a chance, he is always genuinely convinced that it wasn’t his fault. You might say that’s a problem, and to a certain degree it can be. But you can also view it as this guy has a remarkable ability to come back after set-backs.”
As another season begins, the Dane is definitely looking to leave the Gunners and has been linked with quite a few clubs. Eintracht Frankfurt, Hull City and Malaga to name a few.
The striker has already rejected a move to Eintracht Frankfurt as he deemed the contract they offered to be financially weak. Wherever this once hyped player goes, as an Arsenal fan I would only hope for the best for him.
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