It is unusual to have the world’s greatest striker openly available for transfer, but that will be the situation this summer. No, I’m not talking about the extraordinary Cristiano Ronaldo rumours to City, or Carlos Tevez whining his way to Spain; but the news that Nicklas Bendtner’s Dad said he might be about to do one. Now I realize my facetiousness perhaps mislead you with that tempting article title, but young Nicklas has gained a certain amount of notoriety for his bullish confidence in his abilities. As such, I feel it only fair to describe him as he would like to be described, upon the news of his imminent availability.
For me, there is a certain charm to Bendtner’s insistence on his own superbness. I like to think that upon signing for Arsenal at the tender age of sixteen, he tore down the poster of Michael Laudrup from above his bed and replaced it with a signed version of his own portrait. Not a Dorian Gray sized albatross; merely recognition that he possessed a natural talent and persistence so few do at that age.
There is honesty in his attitude that doesn’t seem born out of a pantomime image of himself, like Ronaldo’s. It is not configured to sell as many neon-pink boots as possible (though no doubt can). Instead it speaks to ambition and the sometimes self-fulfilling prophecy that if you keep telling yourself you’re good enough, one day you will be.
My favourite story involving the world’s greatest striker was following his serious car accident in 2009. The tale goes, that upon sliding to a stop amongst a copse of trees, Nicklas’ first instinct was to clamber out of his wrecked Aston Martin, strip down and begin examining himself via a shorn off wing-mirror. A literal stark bollock reminder, that the tenuous tools of an athlete’s trade are their own bodies. Thankfully, all appeared to be intact and he walked away with minor scratches.
Unfortunately, the most famous wearer of Arsenal’s hallowed number ‘52’ shirt (or number ‘26’ shirt, for that matter) has had an increasingly anonymous season playing behind the glass-based frame of Robin Van Persie and the perennially tired Marouane Chamakh. Being the third choice forward, or wandering the right wing, is not befitting his status. So where will the world’s greatest striker end up plying his trade next year? His Father fancies Bayern Munich and has mentioned them in every other sentence in the last three days. Is it really that easy to garner interest? I might send them this Paul Konchesky youtube video.
Personally, I’d prefer to see the fabulous Five Two arrive at somewhere slightly less glamorous like Bolton. Owen Coyle has had a knack of getting previously shambles strikers into mini purple patches. The world’s greatest striker is only twenty-three and still has the best years of his greatest ever career ahead of him. However, his next team could define how we come to view his legacy in twenty years time; it may mean the difference between becoming the Prince of Denmark, or Dagenham.
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1.So much so that he once broke the Arsenal self-confidence psychological test.