Thursday September 13 2012
What do you get with Bendtner?

Not everyone is convinced by Juventus’ swoop for Nicklas Bendtner, but Danish football journalist Karsten Krogh underlines his international pedigree.

A few days ago Denmark and the Czech Republic – probably Italy’s two closest challengers in the World Cup Qualifying Group B – drew 0-0 in Copenhagen. Denmark dominated but couldn’t get through a well-organised Czech defence. Nicklas Bendtner was suspended because of his celebration misconduct during the Euros. Had he played on Saturday, Denmark would probably have scored.

Bendtner’s career at club level, to put it mildly, has never taken off. Playing for the Danish national side, however, he is probably the most important player on the team. At the relatively tender age of 24, he already has 52 caps and has scored 20 goals. At Euro 2012 he and Daniel Agger were Denmark’s star performers. Bendtner scored twice against Portugal, assisted Michael Krohn-Dehli’s goal against Germany and was generally one of the best Danish players in a very difficult group with Germany, Holland and Portugal.

When Nicklas played his first game in the national side against Poland in a friendly back in August 2006, he scored. He also netted in his next game against Portugal. Since then, he has been Coach Morten Olsen’s preferred choice at centre-forward. Denmark basically has no alternative to Bendtner, which the game against the Czechs clearly underlined.

In his first outings for Denmark, Bendtner was somewhat lazy but Olsen has molded him into an invaluable asset for the team and now the forward generally works hard. He rarely gets substituted for Denmark – he is simply too important to the team.

At club level, things have been a lot harder. It’s a common view in England that boss Arsene Wenger gave Bendtner too many chances at Arsenal and he never completely proved himself. When out on loan at Birmingham he did relatively well, scoring 11 goals, and last year at Sunderland he managed to get on the score-sheet eight times in 28 games. Still, Bendtner has hardly set the Premier League sky on fire during his seven years in England. 

His loan deal to Juventus was a surprise to almost everyone. He has agreed a significant pay cut with Arsenal to go to Turin and the reason for that is very obvious. Bendtner thinks highly of himself and he wants to play in a top team that is in the Champions League. That is not a bad thing for a footballer. Zlatan Ibrahimovic thinks he’s better than Diego Maradona and he’s done pretty well for himself. There are other similarities between the two, even if Ibra is obviously a much more accomplished player. Bendtner plays with a lot of confidence, he has a really good touch for a big man (195 cm), he holds the ball up well and he is a relatively good finisher, although obviously not in Zlatan’s class. Bendtner also has pretty good vision for a striker and provides a decent number of assists over a season.

Comparing him to the other Juventus strikers, he is about on the same level as they are. He doesn’t have the touch and vision of Vucinic, but he works harder and is a better finisher. His work rate, technical skills and speed are obviously not at Giovinco’s level but he is stronger – who isn’t? Alessandro Matri is quicker and a harder worker than Bendtner, but the Dane has a better touch and is a better hold-up player than the Italian.

The Danish national team plays a 4-2-3-1 formation which suits Bendtner, but he has played 4-4-2 and done well. If Antonio Conte does decide to play Bendtner then he should give him some decent playing time and start him – as he is not great off the bench. He likes to work his way into matches. Against Portugal in the Euros he was invisible for the first 45 minutes and scored twice after the break. That’s pretty typical of him.

Nicklas Bendtner definitely has a point to prove at club level and he knows he won’t be offered many more chances at a top side. Juventus might not have netted the top striker they wanted this summer, but if Conte can unleash Bendtner’s potential, like Morten Olsen has done at international level for Denmark, the Juventini might be pretty surprised at what he can do.

Karsten Krogh is a Danish football journalist and a Serie A TV commentator. He lives in Copenhagen. 

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Have your say...
He runs more than Matri, very good header, big in the box... Cheap as hell. On loan. Have to prove his worth to rise in pecking order. Start him against a mediocre/small team..
on the 28th September, 2012 at 7:44pm
Just another Borriello. He'll play some games, get criticized and then he'll win us a game, get hailed and then never do anything for us again. I'm predicting 3 goals and two will just be icing on the cake goals in a 2 nil or 3 nil win.
on the 17th September, 2012 at 2:14am
I dont know who is a worse player Bendtner, Borriello or Luca Toni, juve needs to stop signing these wasters and needs to keep players like Immobile who is better than those three, I hope Bendtner proves me wrong but i dont it. Should of given Immobile a chance. FORZA JUVE
on the 15th September, 2012 at 2:22pm
Doesn't mention the shocking condition he came in, which shows his lazy attitude. "Start him". My arse! as Jim Royle would say.
on the 15th September, 2012 at 4:33am
What do you get with Bendtner? the answer is simply NOTHING........ should have kept Borriello who is better
on the 14th September, 2012 at 11:00am
I would like nothing more than to see him flourish with us, but as someone stated above juve right now seem like they could get a player like messi and hes not gonna score 20+ a season cause its truly a team style of attacking there isnt get the ball to him and hell score.So i don't know maybe hell change it up a bit if we get a super striker
on the 14th September, 2012 at 9:09am
BRING BACK THE CAPITANO. FORZA ALEX DEL PIERO. Juve should of signed up for another year to fininsh in the champions league, then retire and become a juventus board member, or even coach
on the 14th September, 2012 at 6:50am
I hope he does well obviously, but without doubt I would have prefered to see the arrival of RVP, Llorente or Guiseppi Rossi ahead of Bendtner's surprise arrival.

Hopefully things wil go well for him - he had a meediocre season on loan at Sunderland last and needs to grab this golden opportunity with Italy's most succesful team !!
on the 13th September, 2012 at 5:16pm
He has done well for his country, but has proven that he isn't capable of those performances week to week at club level. It also doesn't say much for his attitude that he came to Juventus overweight and obviously not ready to play.
on the 13th September, 2012 at 4:50pm
I don't know much about him, but it seems to me that Juve brought him in just to have someone. It would've been cheaper to bring back ADP and start him in the away fixtures of the CL, and as a sub in the home fixtures.I just hope Juve can get out of the group stages...FORZA JUVE SEMPRE
on the 13th September, 2012 at 3:42pm
Give the guy a chance before you write him off. He has not even kicked a ball yet and yet he is already being discounted by some fans and ex-players. Remember, some players are more suited to some leagues than others. He may fit in Serie A very well. He can also be a flop. Either way, give him a chance first.
on the 13th September, 2012 at 3:37pm
The Danish Sergio Floccari!
on the 13th September, 2012 at 3:09pm
I think he's in the same class as Borriello. He'll probably score a couple of goals... but it'll be less than eight. I think Juve shouldn't have picked him up as it seems a pointless signing, especially if they plan to sign someone in january. Bendtner was definitely another Marotta impulsive panic buy.
on the 13th September, 2012 at 2:39pm
He is a flop, and the least striker that would get a chance.

He's beneath the rest. I think he will only feature in the Cup.
on the 13th September, 2012 at 1:53pm
Great article. I thought I was the only one happy with Bendtner's capture. People have talked about a 20 goals a season striker, which is a myth because for this to happen the team needs to play for the strikers. Conte's approach is that the strikers play for the team opening up space for mid and wbs insertions. Bendtner fits this perfectly. He is strong and quick (impressively so for his stature) and he can aid the team by holding ball. He can also be a perfect fit with Seba!
on the 13th September, 2012 at 1:51pm
He is a very good striker lets hope he prove it in Seria A
on the 13th September, 2012 at 1:50pm
This is another Elia signing. He'll struggle to fit in then get frustrated then think I can't be bothered no more. ......then Juve won't take up the option to buy him. Then finally wake up and spend the cash on a "real striker"
on the 13th September, 2012 at 1:29pm
good to know....let's see!!!!!
on the 13th September, 2012 at 12:40pm
Fellas seriously Bendtner is rubbish! i hope i stand corrected but this is not a signing the club needed or improves the team over all, we have better in our ranks he just gives us numbers. he has NEVER been a goal scorer i dont care what hes done for the danes, has been pretty awful in the EPL and the defences there are weaker then Seria A, like hes gonna change a game as a sub either? Juve have money but do not want to spend silly amounts just yet. not sure bout llorent either!
on the 13th September, 2012 at 12:28pm
As long as he give his best for Juve I'll support him...
on the 13th September, 2012 at 11:40am
Its possible he can do well as suggested. Only time & minutes will tell tho.
on the 13th September, 2012 at 11:17am
It's a real shame Juve didn't get Llorente or Jovetic because then they would really have an outstanding squad.

But Bendtner will offer something, I suppose. Can't see him setting the world on fire, though.

I think he'll be sent back to Arsenal next summer and Llorete will arrive on a Bosman.
on the 13th September, 2012 at 11:17am
....Let's hope he does wonders for Juve and unleash his true potential at Club level. Forza Juve!!
on the 13th September, 2012 at 10:41am
Even though I try to be optimistic, I can't help but feel he is going to flop. Yes he fits the physical profile of a goalpoacher but his scoring prowess suggest otherwise....

I also can't see Conte mending his formation just to accomodate him, that would be dangerous !!! remember Diego ???

Until & hope he proves me wrong I will continue to **insert facepalm** when the name Nicklas Bendtner is mentioned....
on the 13th September, 2012 at 10:37am
I was not overly happy when I heard he had signed and there was me giving my Milan Fan Cousin's grief when it was rumoured that the Rossoneri were being linked with his signature! Talk about foot in mouth syndrome! But the guy does have talent, he just needs to sort his ego out! So I will keep my fingers crossed!

What is apparent is that our history is not enough! our failure to sign a marquee player this summer shows that we need to do well in the CL this year to attract such players!
on the 13th September, 2012 at 10:32am
on the 13th September, 2012 at 10:31am
Give him a chance, he is hungry and ready to prove. We have a choice in the end whether to buy or not, I hope Conte can trun him into great finisher
on the 13th September, 2012 at 10:20am

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