AC Milan Transfers: Why Arsenal Striker Nicklas Bendtner Would Be a Poor Signing

Karl Matchett@@karlmatchettFeatured ColumnistJuly 26, 2012

AC Milan Transfers: Why Arsenal Striker Nicklas Bendtner Would Be a Poor Signing

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    It has been a summer of transfers and change for Arsene Wenger and his attacking third of the pitch at Arsenal, bringing in Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud, and also looking at Santi Cazorla, while Robin van Persie wants to leave the club and Yossi Benayoun has exited the club following his loan spell.

    One player whose future is still uncertain is Danish forward Nicklas Bendtner, who it seems is not wanted by the club and who has attracted interest from AC Milan amongst other teams, The Daily Mail reports.

    AC Milan themselves have recently parted company with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who moved to France with PSG, and are looking to fill the void he left behind.

    Nicklas Bendtner, though, is not the man to replace the Swede—at least not if they want to commit to winning trophies.

    Here are five reasons why signing Bendtner would be a poor move on AC Milan's part.

Poor Chance Conversion Rate

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    Playing on loan for Sunderland last season, Nicklas Bendtner was used as the No. 1 centre-forward for long stretches of the campaign.

    Bendtner started 25 of the 38 league games for his loan club, completing 2,234 minutes and scoring eight goals in the process.

    Aside from anything else, that rate of one goal every 279 minutes is hardly fear-inducing for Italy's meanest defences.

    Bendtner hit the target with less than half of his shots throughout the season, mustering only 48 percent of efforts on target from his 62 attempts.

    Clearly, Bendtner lacks the necessary predatory instincts to make him a real goal-getter. Arguably, he would get more quality chances with Milan's midfielders feeding him instead of Sunderland's, but the point remains: He did not take enough to suggest he could be a real danger for one of the world's top sides.


    Statistics courtesy of

Poor Off-the-Ball Movement

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    It's not just Bendtner's finishing which marks him out as a below-par striker, his movement is also predictable and lacking thought at times.

    Happy to stand on the shoulder of the defender for long stretches, he does not offer much in the way of working the channels, splitting the centre-backs or giving full-backs problems by operating in the spaces between defenders.

    A static forward is the easiest one to mark, and while Zlatan Ibrahimovic may not have seemed like the world's hardest-working footballer at times, he was far, far cleverer in his movement than Bendtner could ever dream of being.

All the Ego of Zlatan, with Nowhere Near All of the Ability

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    So says Zlatan about himself. Via Bleacher Report:

    You were born as the one you are. I mean destiny, yes there is destiny. Some things is made by destiny yes, other things by hard work, but quality you don’t learn. Quality you are born with.

    Clearly, the man has confidence in himself—but also has the trophy haul behind him to back it up. He has won nine league titles and various cups in his 30 years.

    And Bendtner? Via Daily Mail:

    If you ask me if I am one of the best strikers in the world, I say yes.

    That from the man who has won, erm, the Danish Football Player of the Year award.


    Three years ago.

One-Dimensional Forward Play

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    Don't mistake the title as saying that Bendtner encourages route-one football or that he is merely a target man; he is not.

    Bendtner is good with the ball at his feet and can run at players, and is confident enough to shoot for goal from any range.

    He does, however, have a very one-dimensional approach to attacking, looking always for the direct route to goal and relying much more on brute force than finesse or skill.

    In other words, he is perhaps not the ideal specification of player to link up with the likes of Kevin Prince Boateng, Antonio Nocerino, Robinho, Antonio Cassano et al.

Cost Effectiveness

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    After selling Thiago Silva and Zlatan Ibrahimovic to PSG, AC Milan should not be short of a few euro to operate in the transfer market, and the wage bill will also be significantly reduced.

    To go and spend a significant portion of that—Bendtner's reported transfer market value is around £7.5 million—on a sub-standard player who will not displace any of the forwards currently at the club, and who has yet to make any real impact on the game at 24 years of age, just does not seem feasible.

    AC Milan have a good squad in place already and will need to add a real injection of quality this summer to go on and challenge for the Serie A title next season.

    Bendtner's reported £50,000-per-week wages are not overly excessive in the modern game, certainly not compared to the likes of Ibrahimovic and his PSG teammates, but it is still £2.5 million per year which might be better spent elsewhere for a team looking to win a league title.