Bendtner Comes of Age
Nicklas Bendtner has come a long way this season. He started as our third choice striker, with Eduardo out injured. But he has ended up as arguably our most effective striker; this will make Wenger’s decision as whether or not to sell Adebayor slightly easier.
Bendtner started the season as the Carling cup striker, but slowly progressed as a first team starter and scorer. Starting with a goal against Bolton. Bendtner was showing glimpses of what he had been promising in the two previous seasons.
Then disaster set in; Nicklas couldn’t score, couldn’t hit the target no matter how close he was to the goal or how easy the shot was. His build up play was good, the effort he put for the team was second to none. He chased players all over the field, but what was missing were goals, a vital ingredient for any footballer. In Bendtner’s own words, he was a Sunday League player during this spell.
This was honesty from a player not on top of his game which was appreciated by the fans. His self-criticism is not something you would hear from either van Persie or Adebayor when they went through their poor spells.
He did not hide, but carried on battling. Bendtner persevered and in the end he was rewarded. He scored 14 goals in all competitions which was the highest tally for any player in the Premier League who is 21 years or under. In fact since Christmas he has scored 9 goals which is more than Adebayor (4) and the same as van Persie.
Bendtner has shown us that he is a player that, given an extended run in the first team can be trusted and relied upon to produce the goods, provided he is played through the middle and not converted into a Kuyt workhorse. Next season will be a big season for Bendtner especially if Adebayor leaves.