Sunday 17 November 2019

Nicklas Bendtner unhappy with bit-part role at Arsenal

Arsenal's Nicklas Bendtner
Arsenal's Nicklas Bendtner

Jack de Menezes

Nicklas Bendtner has revealed that he is unhappy with his bit-part role at Arsenal that has seen his first-team opportunities limited since returning from a loan spell at Juventus last season.

Bendtner is preparing to face England on Wednesday when Denmark take on Roy Hodgson’s side at Wembley Stadium, but the striker is severely undercooked having featured for just 82 minutes in the Premier League this campaign.

The 26-year-old began the season as second choice to Olivier Giroud, but a knee injury ruled him out of action in January and he has since fallen behind Yaya Sanogo in Arsene Wenger’s pecking order.

“If you find a football player who says he is happy to sit and watch and not play then I think he needs to find another job,” Bendtner told reporters.

“I want to play, there's no doubt in my mind. I'm ready, I'm fit, I'm training well. That I'm not selected is up to the manager, it's not up to me, if he then chooses differently then that's up to him.”

Should the Dane start for his country tomorrow, he could very well come up against his club team-mates Jack Wilshere and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – a prospect he is relishing yet doesn’t think will be very tense when they face each other.

“Yeah it's going to be good fun,” he added. “We'll see if we can joke around in the dressing room at half-time, maybe have a laugh about it.

“It's a friendly, there's not a lot at stake, I think a lot of players have played a lot of games ... so it's going to be a difficult game for us.”

Bendtner is out of contract at the end of the season and looks set to end his 10-year stay with the Gunners, having joined the club’s academy in 2004 as a fresh-faced 16-year-old. He has spent time on loan with Birmingham, Sunderland and Juventus during his career, and has notched 24 goals in 56 appearances for his country – something he will be hoping to add to tomorrow night.

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