Arsenal Transfer News: Gunners Should Let Nicklas Bendtner Move On
It's difficult. I feel a lot of things for Arsenal, most good things. I left, not on bad terms but not on great terms.
At the moment, my future is here at Juventus. Beyond that, it can lie at Arsenal or elsewhere. It's not 100% decided. But my focus is on Juventus.
Bendtner’s time in Italy has not been noteworthy. He has started just two Serie A matches for the Italian champions and made four appearances as a substitute. He has yet to record any goals or assists in any competition for the club.
Through the 24-year-old’s career, he has become known for the size of both his frame and his ego. He was considered to be an exciting prospect and started 40 matches for the Gunners in 2008-09 and 2009-10.
But Arsene Wenger grew increasingly disenchanted with his performances and drastically reduced his playing time in 2010-11, then loaned him out to Sunderland the following season.
Despite the manager’s sour turn towards him, Bendtner likely wasn’t all that put off. ESPN reported in 2011 that Arsenal’s sport psychologist Jacques Crevoisier evaluated the club’s players and said, “One of the categories is called 'self perceived competence,' i.e. how good the player himself thinks he is. On a scale up to 9, Bendtner got 10!”
Crevoisier continued and said, “When Bendtner misses a chance, he is always genuinely convinced that it wasn't his fault.” While centre-forwards are rarely humble, Bendtner is a special case and the gap between how managers regard him and how he regards himself is something that should concern clubs looking to forge a permanent relationship with him.
His recent quotes suggest that he has toned down his bravado in recent years, with the same Sky Sports report quoting him as saying:
Now I am where I want to be, at a Champions League club. It requires hard work and I know I need to get more games to achieve success. I've had to lose weight. That happens when you don't train for a long time. But I am now perfect weight-wise. I am where I need to be to get regular games.
While this is an excellent sign for him as a player, there has been little reason throughout his career to suspect that he is capable of being a regular in the lineup for one of Europe’s top clubs.
What should Arsenal do with Bendtner?
He was able to make an impact during his loan at Sunderland last season and scored eight goals in addition to recording five assists. A club like Sunderland is where Bendtner’s future lies.
By moving to a mid-table team, he will find himself in a situation where he can be a fixture in the starting 11. Regardless of how fit Bendtner is, he will not be a player included in important domestic and European matches for a club like Arsenal or Juventus.
Arsenal’s best option is to sell him this summer, and Bendtner’s best option is to find a club where he will be a first-choice striker.
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