Could Arsenal just keep Bendtner?

Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner's stock has dropped so low it would appear the Gunner's are struggling to find a club willing to take him, even at a cut price.

The 25-year-old Dane has opened talks with Turkish outfit Trabzonspor after negotiations over his personal terms fell through with his potential move to Malaga. Bendtner had been on loan at Juventus but an injury sidelined him into insignificance in Antonio Conte's squad.

Prior to that, Bendtner had been on loan at Sunderland and managed a reasonable tally of 8 goals in 28 league appearances for the Black Cats in 2010/11. He burned his bridges with Arsenal by insisting he did not want to go back to the Emirates and then criticizing the club's training policy once he arrived at Juventus.

No one has called for Bendtner to stay - that seems to be one of the few things all Arsenal fans agree on a present, in that they are united as one at least - but Nicklas Bendtner is that bad a player. In fact he isn't bad at all. He's actually good.

He's not great, obviously. However, he did make himself useful when a certain Dutch striker was out of action for months on end, as was Eduardo at the time. He's labelled as target man (well, amongst other things) but he's actually quite technically skilled as you can see from this clip - some of the goals are quite brilliant, actually. He's a good finisher, he's strong, and he's certainly not short of confidence.

The problem with him is his attitude - he really does appear to believe he's the greatest striker in the world, despite evidence to the contrary which I believe is the definition of delusion. Nonetheless, aside from his playboy antics and his self-admiration, Arsenal could so a lot less than have him as a back up for Olivier Giroud.

What I suspect the fans really want is a world-class striker to replace Robin van Persie but having the likes of Yaya Sanogo and Giroud as options isn't going to hurt the Gunners. How much would it hurt to keep Bendtner?

It would cost £50,000 a week and I believe that's another big stumbling block - Arsenal don't want to pay that and neither do other clubs because no one is convinced he's actually worth that. Meanwhile, it would probably hurt them in terms of team morale and unity. Right now Arsenal seem to have a really strong core with desire, belief and commitment to the club. They do not need a prima donna unsettling that with negative energy.

Could Arsenal keep Nicklas Bendtner? They could but they probably shouldn't. Unfortunately, if he can't agree terms with Trabzonspor, they might actually have to.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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