Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has explained why he prevented the transfer of striker Nicklas Bendtner on the transfer deadline day.
The 25-year-old was close to making a switch to the newly promoted side Crystal Palace, but Wenger prevented the deal from happening at the eleventh hour.
Bendtner started his professional career with Arsenal in 2005 and has made 99 league appearances for the Gunners, scoring 22 goals in the process. However, he dropped down the pecking orders at the club since 2011-12, and spent the last two seasons on loan, first at Sunderland and the following season to Serie A giants Juventus.
It became daylight clear that his career at Arsenal is more than over after he failed to impress at the Italian club. Further, the Gunners were looking to add world strikers to their squad this summer as they targeted players like Gonzalo Higuain and Luis Suarez to bolster the attacking front.
But, having failed to land both of them and following the injury to Lukas Podolski, Wenger was left with shortage of strike options.
The Frenchman said as quoted in the club’s official website:
“I had a chat with him because I blocked his move. I wanted him to stay in the end because I felt that we were short up front, that Sanogo might need a few months to adapt.
“As well as that Nicklas Bendtner, with the right state of mind and the right focus, has the quality to help the squad to win things.
“He was honest. He is an honest guy. We want complete commitment and focus from him and he promised that. Nicklas Bendtner, with complete focus and commitment, will be a very strong player in our squad.”
Does that mean Bendtner still has a future at Arsenal? Well, the situation has panned out in such a way that the Danish striker is still lucky enough to be at the Emirates. He won’t get too many chances though, but what-ever little opportunities will come in his way; he’ll have to make the full use of it. And who knows, he can still play a big role for the Gunners this season.