Nicklas Bendtner is another Arsenal player who divides opinion. There are those who have already written him off and claim that he will never be a top class striker, while there are others who believe in his immense potentialhttp://desigunner.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post-new.php, and some consider him to be a great player already!
The facts of the case are as follows,
- Bendtner played a big part in Denmark’s impressive qualifying campaign and ended with a national Player of the Year title.
- The Dane has 6 goals and 6 assists in the league @103 min per goal/assist. Compare with Berbatov @116, Anelka @135, Agbonlahor @171, Defoe @111, and Adebayor @116.
- Since his return from injury in January he has played 18 games in all competitions with 9 goals and 6 assists.
My conclusions are
- Bendtner is the best second choice striker in the league (Anelka has a case, but if both played centrally I think B52 will outperform the ex-Arsenal player)
- The young Dane is by far the best 22 year old striker in the league
- He is going to get better!
I really don’t get the problem some people have with him. On one hand the Misery Brigade wants international players, on the other they don’t want to value a youngster who has taken his team to the World Cup and was recognized as the Player of the Year!
While some of the complaints against him are valid, the conclusions negativists draw are random and lack perspective. I see his strengths and weaknesses as,
- Physical presence
- Fantastic Header
- Great positioning in the box
- Times his runs well
- Has the ability and judgement to assist (far too many strikers don’t have this)
- Developing constantly and consistently
Bendtner Areas of Improvement
- Work Rate
- Needs to know the corners of the goal (most top strikers develop it after playing centrally for 2-3 seasons. Many in the Premiership or Europe never develop this skill)
- First touch
- Shooting from outside the box and the weaker foot
- Poaching instincts
If you compare him with the top strikers in the league there are some key areas where Bendtner needs to improve. I agree with the statement that he isn’t a finished article but that is only a good thing because he is already very, very good!
With the arrival of Chamakh, this season will be a challenge for the Dane. He might not get that many chances in his favoured central position. What I’d like to see is better contribution from him while playing in wider areas. Someone with his stature can be a really dangerous man while arriving at the back post.
So far he has maintained a healthy balance between confidence and effort. I hope he keeps improving this season and doesn’t sulk at the lack to central time. All I’d say is – keep up the good work.