Can ex-Arsenal strikers make a partnership at Crystal Palace?

Nicklas Bendtner Arsenal

Reports have emerged that Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner is set to join former Gunners teammate Marouane Chamakh at Crystal Palace on deadline day.

The wantaway Danish striker has been difficult to shift from the Emirates due to his £52,000 a week wage packet. After an underwhelming loan spell last term at Italian champions Juventus, Bendtner has been linked with moves to Malaga and Hamburg amongst others have left it to go to the wire for the 25-year-old.

Meanwhile, the Eagles signed Moroccan international Chamakh earlier in the window after the 29-year-old was demoted to the reserves at Arsenal for the best part of two years.

However, Chamakh made a sensational start to his career at Selhurst Park, scoring an impressive goal in their 2-1 away defeat to Stoke City, his first Premier League goal since September 2011, setting him off on a solid start as he looks to revive his career ahead of the World Cup next year.

Bendtner burned his bridges at the Emirates after his loan spell with Sunderland, stating he didn’t want to return to Arsene Wenger’s side, compounded by a drink-driving scandal in his native Denmark whilst he was injured on loan with Juventus last term.

However, Crystal Palace manager Ian Holloway seems keen to give the Gunners’ flops a chance and it could do both players the world of good to have genuine access to regular first-team football in South London.

Both players, prior to their slides down the pecking order, showed their class and quality at Arsenal. Chamakh made a strong start to his Arsenal career back in 2010/11 scoring 11 goals and making 8 assists in his debut season whilst Bendtner has an abundance of Champions League and international experience for Arsenal, he took his tally to 15 goals in all completions back in 2008/09 and scored 12 overall in 2009/10.

Bendtner was Sunderland’s top goal scorer in 2011/12 with his tally of eight in the Premier League and his record for Denmark is another reason for optimism that he can revive his career – on the international stage, he’s scored 22 goals in 55 senior team appearances.

Can they function together is the question? Holloway’s 4-2-3-1 formation would not allow for them to function as a partnership but a conversion to a 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1 would.

I would suspect the boss will likely use them separately, especially given that they are relatively similar players in terms of their attributes technically and physically – both are strong in the air, capable of the rough-and-tumble of the Premier League and can be considered target men, operating well with their back to goal a lot of the time.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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