Nicklas Bendtner is a hot topic where ever he goes. His talent has never been faulted and his capacity as a forward is phenomenal, but his “talking and walking” outside the field might not have been his best friend or rather an enemy destroying the on field happiness.
Bendtner has turned 31, and still might have a number of years left in the professional game. He is a year younger than Premier League and Leicester City forward Jamie Vardy, who looks top of his game at the moment, so no one are “too old” because they have passed the 30 year mark.
Few might remember that Bendtner was a one club man for almost 10 years representing Arsenal, but at the time spending a number of months on loan at Sunderland, Birmingham and Juventus, before he was transferred to German club Wolfsburg in 2014.
His time with Wolfsburg was not as Bendtner would have expected, but in his first season, they ended runners-up in the league and won the cup, so all in all he was part of a successful period at the club. Despite not being able to settle, he scored a number of notable goals, one at the San Siro v. Inter getting through to the last 16 of the Champions League. The fact that he scored two in that next summers Super Cup final v. Bayern Munich, first with a goal from full play and than the other one in the penalty shoot outs that made Wolfsburg the winners.
An incident with Bendtner using the wrong car for training, seen in a competitors wehicle became too much for the owners and they decided to cancel the contract a year before it was running out. Bendtner left and in seek of a new club he trained with Copenhagen for a while before making his next move, this time to Nottingham Forest and English 2nd tier football.
His move to City Ground never really took off either, and after only 15 league appearances and just 2 goals scored, he was not satisfied, When Norwegian club Rosenborg came in and said they wanted his services, Bendtner decided to join as Rosenborg paid an undisclosed fee and that gave immediate effect.
Bendtner settled fast and looked happy in Trondheim. The fact that two other Danes were also playing at the club, one of them being club captain Mike Jensen, might have helped a lot and of course the belief and confidence given from head coach Kåre Ingebrigtsen and his assistant Erik Hoftun, was also a key factor.
Rosenborg and Nicklas Bendtner looked as a perfect match at the time and his contribution was huge as he scored goals and made a number of great assists during his first season. Rosenborg won the league, and also managed to qualify for the final stages of the Europa League after defeating last seasons Champions League semi finalist Ajax in the qualifications.
Nicklas Bendtner looked sharper and sharper and he was also taken back into the national team and with him in the squad a World Cup place was secured and everything looked like a beautiful fairy story. But as so often with Nicklas Bendtner, when things are going for him, something sad and difficult happens, this time getting injured and he misses the 2018 World Cup, not being picked due to his injury situation
Bendtner is of course saddened, but manage to focus on his duties at Rosenborg, doing well and keeping momentum as the club continues to dominate domestically. Then as lightening strikes Kåre Ingebrigtsen and Erik Hoftun are shockingly sacked, totally unexpected.
Rini Coolen is installed in caretaker charge, taken in from the clubs academy, and things settles off the field as the on field progression continues. Coolen takes the steering and guides the club to two new titles with Nicklas Bendtner very much part of those wins.
During a break from football in the autumn of 2018, another sad incident occurs with Bendtner being accused of violence towards a taxi driver in Copenhagen. His Rosenborg career looks a bit in the air at that moment, but the club decides to back him, but with a new head coach on the way in, nothing is certain anymore. Despite being a great success on the field, new trophies in the cabinet and yet another European adventure secured, it was not seen as ideal at all to not be able to start training with the squad.
New boss Eirik Horneland is a totally different character than previous coach Ingebrigtsen and few believe that Bendtner will survive in this new coaching regime, but surprisingly Horneland gives him a fair chance to get back in.
A dreadful start to the 2019 season for Rosenborg, and with Eirik Horneland straight under pressure, he decides to drop Nicklas Bendtner all together. No sentiment in Hornelands decision, despite Bendtner’s previous contribution to title wins and European qualifications.
As Rosenborg finds their form back and most players settles in under their new coach, Bendtner is axed and allowed to do what he likes in his search for a new club. The fact that Bendtner makes his decision and joins Copenhagen is a surprise to everyone with Norwegian manager Ståle Solbakken earlier describing this move as not ideal.
When it was all clear that Bendtner had been signed by Copenhagen, something he himself had expressed a hope of doing sometime in his career, the fans of this club went bananas. Shirts were sold like it was Ronaldo or David Beckham who had signed. This shows how big Nicklas Bendtner is among his followers in his home country.
If he again can manage to get back in his best form, and deliver what he did with Rosenborg, this might be another fairy story on it’s way. His football understanding and talent is not to be faulted in any way. We certainly hope that Ståle Solbakken will be able to “copy” Kåre Ingebrigtsen and get the best out of Nicklas Bendtner.
- Full Name: Nicklas Bendtner
- Date of Birth: 16.01.1988
- Position: Forward
- Nation: Denmark
- Caps/Goals: 81/30
- Major Club Career
- 2005-14, Arsenal, 108/24
- 2014-16, Wolfsburg, 31/3
- 2016-17, Nottingham Forest, 15/2
- 2017-19, Rosenborg, 57/24
- Winner Medals
- 2012-13, Serie A
- 2014-15, DFB-Pokal
- 2015, DFL-Supercup
- 2017, Eliteserien
- 2018, Eliteserien
- 2018, Norwegian Cup
- Winner Medals