Ian Holloway says there are two differences between Nicklas Bendtner and Zlatan Ibrahimovic

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Nicklas Bendtner is back in England following several years away from the country.

However, the Denmark international has been forced to settle for a Championship club - Nottingham Forest have signed the striker on a two-year deal - after scoring a disappointing nine goals in 47 appearances during his two seasons with Wolfsburg.

It’s a pretty dramatic fall from grace and a significant blow to the ego of a player who, in 2011, recorded a score that was ‘off the scale’ in a confidence test.


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Bendtner, who turns 29 in January, certainly has ability - 29 goals in 72 international appearances for Denmark is proof of that - but has lacked focus, his attitude has been questionable and he’s missed too many chances to become a top-level player.

One manager who is an admirer of the former Arsenal player, however, is Ian Holloway.

Holloway compares Bendtner to Zlatan

The experienced coach, who currently works as a pundit for Sky Sports, has raised eyebrows by claiming the Dane possesses the same level of ability as, wait for it, Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

No, really.

In fact, Holloway believes there are only two differences between the two players.

"I nearly signed Nicklas Bendtner at Crystal Palace," Holloway told Sky Sports. "I actually really liked him as a person. If we had got the deal done, I reckon I could've got something out of him.

"He's a Zlatan Ibrahimovic-type of player in terms of ability, the only difference is Ibrahimovic keeps himself fit and is able to keep scoring.

"He's a player that needs to feel wanted. I don't think Bendtner has ever really felt appreciated. That's the impression I got from him - he needs to be loved."

Considering Zlatan is one of the best and most successful forwards of his generation, the comparison will come as a surprise to the majority of football fans.

Holloway intrigued by Bendtner's move to Forest

Holloway is also intrigued by Bendtner’s move to the City Ground.

"Arsene Wenger spotted that talent and Nicklas has to start showing that talent on a regular basis now,” the 53-year-old added.

"Sometimes it's a curse to have as much talent as he has. It's a curse if you can't use and channel that talent properly. I believe dealing with things in your head is more important than the physical side of football.

"It's a really intriguing signing as we don't know where he is physically or mentally - plus he'd have earned a lot of money in the last few years.

"The question is: what does he want out of his life? Surely he's going to want to attain some professional pride about what he does on the football pitch. After meeting him a couple of times, I felt he was ready to do that.

"Bendtner is box office and gives everyone another reason to watch the Championship to see what he can do. The longer he hasn't found his best form for, the harder it is to recapture. It's all down to how much he wants it."

Does Nicklas Bendtner possess similar ability to Zlatan Ibrahimovic or is Ian Holloway talking rubbish? Have your say by leaving a comment below.

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Manchester United
Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Paris Saint-Germain
Nicklas Bendtner
Premier League

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