Nicklas Bendtner has landed a move to German club Wolfsburg after reportedly turning down interest from Premier League sides.
The Danish striker, known as something of an enigma in England after a controversial spell with Arsenal, will now ply his trade in the Bundesliga, reported by Wolfsburg's official Twitter account:
Followers of the Bundesliga's English account were also treated to the news:
Wolfsburg have reportedly put a three-year contract in place for the 26-year-old, per Simon Jones of the Daily Mail. Jones also notes Bendtner turned down the advances of Crystal Palace and Hull City to try his luck in Germany. The underperforming striker moves on after nine years with the Gunners.
Dieter Hecking, Wolfsburg's coach, even appeared to mock Bendtner during an interview with Kicker, reported via Jamie Sanderson of the Metro. Previously linked with Mario Mandzukic and Edin Dzeko, Hecking reportedly acknowledged Bendtner is of a lower standard.
"We dared to touch the top shelf of players. It's empty now though, so we need to look a bit further down," said Hecking.
Bendtner made one start and eight substitute appearances for Arsenal in the Premier League last season, scoring two goals, per WhoScored.com. Prior to this, he failed to score during a loan spell with Juventus in 2012-13, succumbing to a complete loss of momentum after performing well with Sunderland the season prior.
Bendtner worked hard to net eight goals and provide five assists during 28 Premier League displays for the Black Cats in 11-12. This came four years after he originally performed well as a youngster on loan at Birmingham.
Despite showing real promise during his early spell in north London, Bendtner's career is one defined by regrettable newspaper headlines produced via his actions on and off the pitch.
In May 2009, the forward was caught stumbling out of a nightclub with his trousers down, per Simon Cass' in-depth rundown of the player's history for the Daily Mail. A few months later he was lucky to escape from the wreckage of his £160,000 Aston Martin, which he wrote off after crashing near the A1.
He was arrested and subsequently cleared of vandalising rivals' cars during his loan spell at Sunderland, a case which also saw Lee Cattermole given unconditional bail.
While on international duty in June 2012, Bendtner revealed the Paddy Power logo on his boxer shorts after scoring against Portugal at the European Championships. The betting firm admitted this PR stunt "was only a bit of fun" and agreed to pay Bendtner's €100,000 fine, per the Mirror. He was also banned for one international match for revealing the sponsor.
This was followed by Bendtner's arrest for being over the drink-drive limit during a 2013 trip to Copenhagen, where he was also given a six-month playing ban from the Danish national team. Shortly after this incident, Bendtner was arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage after allegedly kicking the door to his apartment-block gym down.
Bendtner's career is also mocked for a handful of quotes. According to Danish daily newspaper Politiken, via Gordon Tynan of The Independent, he famously suggested "Real Madrid or Barcelona" would be his next club after Arsenal, just one of many comments detractors love to mock.
Despite his lack of focus, Bendtner has the potential to be a useful player with Wolfsburg. He has been given an excellent education at Arsenal and is a handful when utilising plenty of energy. Laziness does creep into his game, but if Bendtner applies himself to the task, he is more than capable of making a regular difference.
Arsenal certainly aren't looking back after releasing the player, a telltale sign of his wasted tenure. Bendtner has often produced a decent run of form while on loan at the smaller clubs, while his ability to believe his own hype stuttered progress with Arsenal and Juve.
His decision to take the No. 3 shirt at Wolfsburg, per Sanderson, underlines Bendtner's constant need for sideshow.
Still, Hecking will be hopeful the free transfer can pay off. If Bendtner is ever going to realise his dream of representing Spain's elite, he needs to start producing top form extremely soon.
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