Arsenal’s vainglorious striker Niklas Bendtner has never been one for the subtle understatement, lest we forget that it was only a few months ago he claimed himself to be the ‘greatest goalscorer in the world’ during an interview with FIFA.com – haughty declarations which he has since tempered (he now ‘plans to become’ the greatest goalscorer in the world) if not rescinded completely.
A long-standing groin problem coupled with the summer arrival of grease-swathed mullet aficionado Marouane Chamakh at the Emirates has seen Bendtner’s opportunities at the club reduced somewhat.
Having started only twice this season, the 22-year-old Danish target man has been quick to recognise that such a limited role is not befitting of a player of his latent greatness and threatened that he may walk out on Arsenal if he is not handed his first-team place back on a gilded platter.
Quoted in this morning’s Daily Mirror, Bendtner said:
“I’m very disappointed that I haven’t played more. I feel I’ve done the right things in the rehab and that I’m in the form of my life. I feel that I’m better than before the injury where I after all was in the line up every time and close to fulfilling my potential.
Now I am only missing small things in order to be at the top again and I only get that by playing games – so that’s what I must do now. That’s the situation. When I’m 100% fit I can’t accept sitting on the bench.
I’ll soon be 23 and at this point in my career it’s important to play regularly game after game in order to continue my development. I’ve been patient for a long time but I’m not anymore. I’ve shown that I’m fit – both in training and the games I’ve played.”
Such self-entitlement for one so young. One can only assume that, after learning of the cumbersome Dane’s apparent schism at Arsenal, Barcelona and Real Madrid are now scrambling to get all the relevant registration papers drawn up in time for January.
The BBC Sport gossip column is today proffering forth the spurious rumour that Chelsea are in the hunt for ‘an ‘£18 million-rated Ronaldo‘.
Could it finally be that all that potato vodka has singed Roman Abramovich‘s synapses into submission?
From the Beeb’s strapline it would seem that the Russian oligarch is prepared to either go vastly overboard in a bid to recruit a flabby Brazilian ne’er-do-well, or vastly underboard in a bid to prise a certain preening Portuguese man/toddler from Real Madrid’s clammy grasp.
Sadly, neither elucidation is true as, one click later, you find that Chelsea are indeed chasing Porto centre-back Rolando (’twas a ‘typo’ all along, my how we laughed) with the express intent of shoring up their rather thin defensive ranks come the turn of the year – or at least that is what the 25-year-old’s agent Peppino Tirri is claiming.
Elsewhere, after producing one of the worst Manchester derbies in living history earlier in the week, the two clubs responsible are set to go to battle again – this time in the rush to snap up Sunderland’s blossoming England hopeful Jordan Henderson.
Both United and City are rumoured to be preparing covert bids for the versatile 20-year-old midfielder, who is fully expected to be included in the partially rejuvenated squad that Fabio Capello will select for next week’s friendly against France.
In financial term, the Black Cats currently find themselves in rude health, although manager Steve Bruce has admitted that he would find it hard to turn down ‘silly money’ should any of the Premier League’s ‘giants’ come calling:
“I sincerely hope we can keep him in the long term. We will try desperately. I am a realist. If one of the big giants come along we will be up against it.
If ridiculous money is offered it will be difficult we will face that if it comes.
It is part and parcel that other clubs will have a look. Ultimately we will have to face it and we will have to cope with that when it comes.”
Apparently, City officials have been laying the foundations for a future deal as part of their campaign to hoover up the best young British players.
The Guardian are mooting that Henderson will cost a minimum of £20 million, such is Sunderland’s resolve to hold on to him, but it’s fair to assume that such a piffling fee will be no issue for a club that can afford to fritter away petro-dollars like confetti.