It took Nicklas Bendtner nine years to play 108 games for Arsenal and score 24 goals. Which doesn’t sound that good – although to be fair, for three of those years he was on loan, playing 42 games for Birmingham City (11 goals), 28 for Sunderland (8 goals) and nine for Juventus without scoring.
Eventually in 2014 we sold him to Wolfsburg where he played 31 matches in two years and got three goals. After that it was Nottingham Forest for a season (15 games, 2 goals) and then Rosenborg where he became the regular front man across two seasons, scoring 24 goals in 57 matches – the sort of return he had always promised, but never delivered, despite his talent.
Of course the problem was his wayward personality – which infuriated his managers and was loved by some supporters who still call him Lord Bendtner. He was a candidate for Danish Prime Minister in June 2015, and seemed to take the role of politician a little too literally for in November 2018 he was given a 50 day prison sentence for hitting a taxi driver.
Now our ex-player, (a man who Mr Wenger once described as having enormous natural talent – if only he would apply himself to the job) – has joined FC Copenhagen and there are reports that interest in him is so great that the club shop has sold out of shirts.
And because the first match he can play in is the reserve game against Copenhagen’s biggest rivals, Brøndby, the club has now stated that no crowd will be allowed in the stadium for fear of what would happen. Copenhagen’s manager, Ståle Solbakken, described the matches against Brøndby as “war” and that the added ingredient of Bendtner made the whole affair too risky even for a reserve match.
Bendtner has consistently played for Denmark during his ever changing career and overall has scored 30 goals in 81 games, with his last two appearances being last year. Although never prolific as a club scorer he did have two years in which he had a 50% scoring record, gaining five goals in ten games in both 2011 and 2012.