Arsenal Transfer Prospects: The 8 Best Replacements for Nicklas Bendtner

Callum D'SouzaSenior Writer IJune 2, 2011

Arsenal Transfer Prospects: The 8 Best Replacements for Nicklas Bendtner

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    LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 05:  Nicklas Bendtner of Arsenal shows his disappointment at the final whistle during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Sunderland at Emirates Stadium on March 5, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/
    Paul Gilham/Getty Images

    There is no denying the calibre and talent of Nicklas Bendnter. The Arsenal sharp shooter boasts quite an ego and has a high regard for his ability, often stating the quality he can produce.

    Last season, World Football witnessed the high octane football that the Danish striker can contribute, as the 23-year-old eradicated the absence of Robin van Persie and the poor form of Eduardo Da Silva to become an efficient lone striker during a tough season for the Gunners. Bendtner finished the season with 12 goals, 15 had materialized in 2008-2009.

    However, injuries and the sheer brilliance of Robin van Persie have restricted Bendtner's efforts this season with the Denmark international mustering only 28 appearances and nine goals.

    Van Persie's new year form of 18 goals in 17 appearances since January, coupled with Arsene Wenger's inability to effectively rotate his young squad, has resulted in lapses of form and confidence for Bendtner, which coincided with Arsenal's horrific demise of the last three months.

    As the North London giants strong season crumbled with the Carling Cup final defeat to Birmingham City at the conclusion of February, which extended their notorious trophy drought to sixth successive seasons, Bendtner rarely received opportunities, contributing three starts in the EPL.

    Wenger opted to utilize his imposing forward as an impact substitution, predominantly on the wing, where the 23-year-old struggled to enforce his presence.

    Bendtner has now stated his intentions and desire to depart the Emirates after enduring a frustrating season, and naturally, a number of clubs begin to show heavy interest. Wenger is rumoured to be able to command up to £15 million for the Danish striker, and it is unlikely the Frenchman will attempt to maintain Bendnter's presence.

    The potential departure of Bendtner will introduce extra funds to an already increased transfer budget for Wenger. With a number of high calibre strikers on offer, the French tactician has the ideal opportunity to secure the services of quality strike force as replacements for the talented Nicklas Bendtner.

    This slideshow states the eight best strikers Wenger can target as Nicklas Bendtner's replacement.

8. Gervinho, Lille

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    JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 20: Felipe Melo of Brazil pulls at the shirt of Gervinho of Ivory Coast during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Group G match between Brazil and Ivory Coast at Soccer City Stadium on June 20, 2010 in Johannesburg, Sou
    Ian Walton/Getty Images

    The Ivorian was outstanding in 2010-2011 as French outfit Lille secured their first Ligue One trophy in 57 years and also achieved the Coupe de France in a superb season for the Mastiffs.

    Gervinho was an efficient striking presence throughout, contributing an impressive 14 goals and 10 assists in 34 league appearances.

    The 24-year-old is held in the highest regard by Arsene Wenger, who has been intensely linked with a move for the young striker. A powerful and quick presence, Gervinho has the calibre to play as the lone striker or as a winger. A clinical finisher, the Ivory Coast international could provide Arsenal with the scoring mentality that sometimes evades Wenger's men.

    A relatively cheap and effective solution, Gervinho is said to command up to £13 million, which does not hinder Wenger financially, although Liverpool and Tottenham are both eager to secure the former Le Mans striker.

7. Jeremy Menez, Roma

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    ROME, ITALY - APRIL 03: Jeremy Menez of AS Roma looks on during the Serie A match between AS Roma and Juventus FC at Stadio Olimpico on April 3, 2011 in Rome, Italy.  (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)
    Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

    The French winger is not regarded as an out and out striker but would be a welcome addition to the Gunner's attack at the expense of Nicklas Bendtner. The 24-year-old has developed into an attacking force since joining Italian giants AS Roma in 2008.

    A consistent presence in the Wolves starting XI, Menez's attacking flair and creativity could become a devastating threat on the wing alongside instilling added depth which would be furthered should Andrei Arshavin also depart the Emirates as Menez's ability would mitigate the respective departures.

    Young, composed and balanced, the former AS Monaco dynamo is experienced on both the domestic and international stage and is a notable admirer of the Gunners. Menez's introduction would allow Samir Nasri to commit to a more preferred second striker role, furthermore, if necessary, the Frenchman is versatile enough to play in the middle too.

    AS Roma are rumoured to want up to £14 million for their attacking mastermind.

6. Hugo Rodallega, Wigan Athletic

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    WIGAN, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 02: Hugo Rodallega of Wigan Athletic celebrates scoring his side's second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Wigan Athletic and Wolverhampton Wanderers at DW Stadium on October 2, 2010 in Wigan, England.  (Photo
    Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

    The Colombian exhibits performances of superb attacking caliber and clinical finishing despite often being restricted by the struggling Wigan attack last year.  Rodallega has amassed 22 goals in 94 appearances, rendering him Wigan's top goalscorer in the Premier League.

    This season the 25-year-old notched nine goals, one of which was the winner against Stoke City that kept Wigan in the Premier League. In 37 appearances before 2009/2010 he notched 10 goals in 42 games.

    Rodallega has the ability to become tremendously efficient.  If he is registered into the Arsenal attack he would inevitably thrive. Nicklas Bendtner is almost certain to depart the Emirates; the Wigan sharpshooter would be the ideal replacement.

    Rumored to cost up to £15 million, with the transfer of Bendtner that is speculated between £10-15 million, his acquisition does not hinder Arsenal financially. Rodallega is a powerful yet quick striker whose movement and clinical shooting ensure the Colombia international is an all-around threat.

    Wenger would be able to utilize Rodallega on the wing, as a second striker or even lone striker. One has to take into consideration that Hugo Rodallega's skill and goal-scoring ability have been hindered by Wigan's inconsistent ability to attack, which is why Rodallega could thrive at the Gunners.

5. Hulk, FC Porto

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    DUBLIN, IRELAND - MAY 18: Hulk of FC Porto
 looks onduring the UEFA Europa League Final between FC Porto and SC Braga at Dublin Arena on May 18, 2011 in Dublin, Ireland.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    The heroically named striker is a strong, powerful option who combines speed and strength impressively to bring a threatening approach to a side's front line. The Porto striker has enjoyed a stellar season as the Dragons took out the Portuguese crown and the UEFA Cup with Hulk contributing 36 goals in 51 appearances, ensuring the former Tokyo Verdy striker has become one of the most prolific strikers in Europe.

    Wenger has tracked the Brazilian for a number of years now, but a deal has failed to materialize. However, with Bendtner's uncertain future, Hulk has emerged as a prime replacement who could thrive in the English Premier League.

    With ambitions to play in both the EPL, Wenger's side is an attractive opportunity for Hulk, but Wenger may be less inclined to target the forward due to a £18 million price tag.

4. Gonzalo Higuain, Real Madrid

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    MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 10: Gonzalo Higuain of Real Madrid reacts during the La Liga match between Real Madrid and Getafe at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on May 10, 2011 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)
    Angel Martinez/Getty Images

    The Argentine is renowned for his consistent goalscoring ability that has materialized 66 goals in 109 appearances for Spanish giants Real Madrid in the last three seasons. However, Higuain's efforts are often overlooked due to the calibre contained in the Madrid lineup, which includes Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka.

    The 23-year-old is reportedly on the market by manager Jose Mourinho with a £15 million price tag enforced. At 6'1", the Argentina international is a devastating aerial threat but also possesses immense balance, skill and technique alongside a vicious strike.

    A number of clubs, including Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham, are all chasing the striker, and it's easy to see why.

3. Radamel Falcao, FC Porto

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    DUBLIN, IRELAND - MAY 18: Paulao  of SC Braga clashes with Radamel Falcao Garcia of FC Porto during the UEFA Europa League Final between FC Porto and SC Braga at Dublin Arena on May 18, 2011 in Dublin, Ireland.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    Radamel Falcao has drawn comparisons to Arsenal legend and World Football hero Theirry Henry after consecutive immense season for FC Porto. The Colombian amassed 34 goals in 43 appearances last season before improving the rate with 38 in 42 in 2010-2011, as Porto achieved great success with the Portuguese title and the UEFA Cup.

    The 25-year-old is now highly sought after and desires a move to bigger opportunities. The EPL is considered Falcao's desired destination along with UEFA Champions League football. Wenger is in favour as Falcoa is a great admirer of the Arsenal style of play, but the Frenchman may be tentative to sign due to a £25 million price demand.

2. Karim Benzema, Real Madird

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    MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 21:  Karim Benzema of Real Madrid celebrates after scoring Real's third goal during the La Liga match between Real Madrid and UD Almeria at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on May 21, 2011 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images
    Denis Doyle/Getty Images

    Arsene Wenger has long been an eager admirer of Benzema, and many have predicted a potential move for the Frenchman to the Gunners. A strong, imposing striker who has achieved superb success with French giants Lyon before a move to the La Liga in 2009.

    The 23-year-old recorded 26 goals in 48 appearances this term for Jose Mourinho but is rumoured to desire a move away. Benzema would be a tremendous addition to the Arsenal attack, one that could provide flair, strength, aerial threat and efficiency.

    The striker also boasts strong relationship with a number of the French internationals on the Arsenal roster and evokes the ability to thrive under the Arsenal style of play. However, Benzema's signature could cost more than £18 million.

1. Eden Hazard, Lille

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    LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MARCH 18:  Javier Mascherano of Liverpool battles for the ball with Eden Hazard of Lille during the UEFA Europa League Round of 16, second leg match at Anfield on March 18, 2010 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Ima
    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    The hottest prospect in World Football, the Belgium winger is wanted all around Europe, and it's easy to see why.

    A devastating attacker, Hazard is blessed with amazing speed and balance alongside great creativity and a ferocious shot. Boasting over 130 appearances for French giants Lille and 19 Belgium National caps, Hazard ticks every box.

    Did we mention he's only 20?

    Many have likened the Belgium magician to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo due to his explosive style of play. The young gun made his debut for Lille as a 16-year-old and has since won the UNFP Young Player of the Year award twice, as well as being named in French League Team of the Year.

    Lille were superb this campaign, and Hazard was integral in their achievements, the Mastiffs are well aware of their dynamo's talent and the attraction the Belgium international is materializing, and it is said the French side are asking for up to £30 million.