Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner has issued a statement on his future after failing to secure a move away this summer. A move to Crystal Palace was imminent but Arsenal’s failure to land a striker themselves ruled out any departure for the Dane.
The club had told Bendtner to find a new club and despite many clubs expressing interest in him, his huge wage demands scuppered any potential moves. When he realised he would have to lower his wage demands to secure a move, it was too late for Arsenal to get suitable cover. Arsene Wenger did announce he would be willing to play the striker if he got himself it.
‘If [Bendtner] does not leave and prepares well, and is fit, really fit, then I will use him. He is not training at the moment because he is coming back from injury and is not ready to integrate in to the training sessions.’
The striker had made his stance on Arsenal quite clear, refusing to play for the club over lack of playing time he felt he deserved. His strike rate of 45 goals in 157 games didn’t merit a guaranteed first team spot with players like Robin Van Persie scoring 20 per season. His attitude towards the club forced him in to a loan move to Sunderland where he excelled but he wanted to play for a bigger team following his loan spell expiration.
He joined Juventus last season on another loan deal and found game time hard to come by. The Dane only played ten times in all competitions, failing to register a single goal. His time in Turin made him realise his mistakes and that maybe he wasn’t as good as he thought and that he was ready to play in a team and lower his ego, however he was still determined to leave the Emirates.
Plenty of clubs came in for him but all the talks stopped at the personal terms stage with the 25-year old refusing to accept lower than £50,000-a-week. He was finally ready to lower his salary to conclude a move to Crystal Palace when Arsenal pulled the plug on the deal after they failed in their pursuit of Demba Ba. He expressed his disappointment of not being able to leave but went on to praise the club and confirmed his total commitment for the team.
“I still fell very strongly about Arsenal Football Club and following positive talks with the Manager, I am looking forward to working hard to regain full fitness and doing my very best to help to the team and the Manager fulfil our objectives and ambitions this season.”
He ended his statement by reassuring all the fans he will give his all for the shirt.
“I will give everything I have to contribute to what I believe will be a successful season for the club.”
Although he wanted to leave and the club wanted him gone, the fact he is still at Arsenal is not the worst thing. He has confirmed he will do his very best for Arsenal if selected, which is a positive and shows he may be maturing, finally. He isn’t a bad striker and is decent in the air. If he has a decent campaign with Arsenal then he may get his wish for a move away and Arsenal will get a good transfer price for him. If he fails to show what he can do then he can only look to play his trade in the lower leagues. The World Cup in the summer should also be a big incentive.
Of course Olivier Giroud will get most of the playing time while Lukas Podolski, Theo Walcott and even Yaya Sanogo could play more in the central role than the Dane, Wenger has confirmed he will play if he is fit and he has a lot to play for now.