The shock signing of former Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner, can only be described as an intelligent one.
The wounds from the underhand departure of Oliver Burke were still fresh when I got wind of the possible signing of Bendtner. In all honesty I thought it was another PR stunt, like the proposed managerial recruitment of Ryan Giggs some months back.
Having lost our player of the season so far in Burke, and the closing of the transfer window, morale among Nottingham Forest supporters was somewhat deflated. It was no secret that we are a little thin when it comes to strikers so it was imperative that we recruited well during the transfer period. The arrival of Nicolao Dumitru did little to impress me if I’m honest. He is unproven and despite talking a very good game, it remains to see whether he will amass to anymore than a promising youngster.
Bendtner on the other hand, is proven but also volatile and egotistical at times. Push those words to the side for a second and muse over these two; “Free Transfer”! The very fact that this guy was a free agent is quite a coup by Forest, for all intents and purposes it’s a low risk deal for the club. Ok; we may have given the guy a two year deal but he’s not in a position to bargain much. Depending on who you speak with, NFFC are paying him between thirteen and thirty thousand pounds a week. I tend to go with the initial sum because let’s face it, beggars can’t be choosers.
To think that he once earned four times this amount at Arsenal is scary but he isn’t that same player anymore and hopefully not the same ego. He had the world at his feet; Arsenal, Juventus and capped over seventy times by his country. At the ripe old age of twenty eight you should be hitting your peak in football, whether that’s for Denmark or Dunkirk. After an unsuccessful spell at Wolfsburg it really is last chance saloon for the lad; this is why I described the signing as an intelligent one.
If you heard me discussing this topic on BBC’s Matchtalk, earlier this week you’ll have heard me say that he needs us just as much as we need him. That is a fact because if Nicklas Bendtner is honest, he will be using his time at the City Ground to orchestrate a move back to the Premier League. Why wouldn’t he? So you don’t have to be a genius to know that he will only achieve this by knuckling down and playing well, which certainly bodes well for the reds. It’s a win-win situation for both parties and who knows, he could even return to the top flight with Forest!
He will also put a few more bums on seats down by the Trent, a welcome initiative considering how badly the attendances have declined over the past year or two. Of course, every seat in the stadium will be occupied on September 20th, when Bendtner’s former club Arsenal come to town. It’s as if it were scripted for him to make his full debut in that particular game and score. Only time will tell but you can bet your bottom dollar that he’ll be plotting that very outcome in his head.
Another thing I touched on during the radio show was the possibility of the Dane playing alongside Britt Assombalonga, a mouth watering prospect for the fans. That poses another question within itself; will Philippe Montanier finally opt for a front two or be forced to rotate them? The latter is not a viable option in all fairness but Montanier has been unpredictable to say the least when it comes to formations and playing staff. Crazy when you think that David Vaughan can’t even make it into the squad, yet Ben Osborn is seemingly untouchable. Anyone in their right mind would find a way to accommodate both Bendtner and Assombalonga, otherwise it will prove that little thought has gone into this transfer. Neither of the forwards mentioned are naturally gifted with pace but are physically strong. I wondered if they’d be too similar but my fears were allayed after watching some archive footage of Bendtner and Van Persie, back at Arsenal. The two had a great understanding and linked up well in and around the box; both had quick feet and close control but seemed to find each other with ease.
Whatever the outcome of this signing, it can’t be denied that it’s an exciting one. Despite Bendtner’s coming of age, he was recently referred to as “A menace to the club” by Klaus Allofs, at Wolfsburg. So maybe he still has his demons, only time will tell but as I said earlier; he needs Nottingham Forest just as much as they need him!