Will Nicklas Bendtner Play for Arsenal Again?

James McNicholasFeatured ColumnistMarch 4, 2014

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 29:  Nicklas Bendtner of Arsenal celebrates victory after the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Arsenal at St James' Park on December 29, 2013 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Nicklas Bendtner has admitted what most Gunners fans already knew: He is leaving Arsenal. 

Speaking to Danish publication Jyllands-Posten, via the Mirror, Bendtner said:

I'm just waiting to be unleashed. This is why I do not care about anything else. I just want to play football.

When I find my right club, I am sure that everything will be all right in itself , if there are no more injuries.

I'm ready for a new chapter. For something completely different. A fresh start.

A fresh start is exactly what he needs. Things went sour at Arsenal long ago. This season, Arsenal’s failure to recruit a new forward led to an uneasy truce between Bendtner and the club. However, it was always a mere marriage of convenience. That awkward relationship is about to reach its close.

WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 25:  Nicklas Bendtner of Arsenal goes down injured during the Capital One Cup third round match between West Bromwich Albion and Arsenal at The Hawthorns on September 25, 2013 in West Bromwich, England.  (Photo by Jamie
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

There is a question mark about whether Bendtner will ever play for Arsenal again. Since the turn of the new year, the return to fitness of Yaya Sanogo has pushed Bendtner down the pecking order.

The early warning signs were there when Arsenal hosted Manchester United. Even though Sanogo hadn’t played competitive football for half a season, he was sent out to warm up ahead of Bendtner, who remained on the bench.

Bendtner’s fears would have been confirmed when Sanogo was subsequently picked to start against both Liverpool and Bayern Munich. Even at Stoke, with Arsenal desperately seeking a goal, Bendtner was not called upon. The inexperienced Sanogo got another opportunity and blazed Arsenal’s best chance over the bar in the game’s dying moments.

Bendtner has now played just seven minutes of football since the FA Cup victory over Coventry at the end of January.

Speaking to Sky Sports, the Dane said:

If you can find a footballer who says he is happy to sit and watch and not play, then I think he needs to find a different job.

I want to play. I am fit and ready, am training well. That I am not selected is up to the manager (Arsene Wenger), it is not up to me.

All I can do is train well, which is what I am doing. If he chooses different, then that is up to him.

It seems Wenger has decided to place his faith in Sanogo over Bendtner, as he offers more to the club in the long term. It’s a strategy the Arsenal manager has employed before, sidelining the likes of Sylvain Wiltord and Edu once they made it clear they would leave the club on a Bosman free.

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 19:  Nicklas Bendtner of Arsenal reacts during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Norwich City at Emirates Stadium on October 19, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
Paul Gilham/Getty Images

Bendtner may be the superior striker for now, but Wenger would obviously rather use the game time he has available to develop a talent who has a future with Arsenal instead of one who has already declared his intention to leave.

Unless Wenger relents, Arsenal fans may never see Bendtner in an Arsenal shirt again.

 

James McNicholas is Bleacher Report's lead Arsenal correspondent and will be following the club from a London base throughout the 2013-14 season. Follow him on Twitter here.