Player of the Day: Nicklas Bendtner

by Will Martin looks back on the enigmatic Dane's time on Wearside.

His spell at Sunderland may have been short-lived, but Danish striker Nicklas Bendtner certainly left an impression during his time at the Stadium of Light.

Signed by Arsenal as a 17-year-old in 2005, Bendtner initially found first-team opportunities hard to come by and was sent out on loan to Birmingham City where he scored 13 goals in 48 games during the 2006-07 campaign.

Bendtner impressed whilst with the Blues and he was given more opportunities with Arsenal on his return to North London; over the next four seasons he would go on to make 154 appearances, scoring 45 goals.

On transfer deadline day in August 2011, Bendtner signed a season-long loan deal with Sunderland reuniting him with Steve Bruce with whom he had previously worked with at Birmingham.

Bendtner’s first goal in a Sunderland shirt came in a 2-2 draw with West Bromwich Albion at the Stadium of Light.

The Danish international would go on to score seven more goals to finish as the Black Cats’ top scorer for the league campaign.

Possessing a unique mix of size, power and skill, Bendtner was deployed by Bruce, and later Martin O’Neill, as a lone striker, making 30 appearances in the season despite missing a number of games because of a broken nose.

Bendtner’s goal against local rivals Newcastle United endeared him to the Sunderland fans despite it proving to be only worth a point when Shola Ameobi equalised for the Magpies. 

He’s been capped by his country on 55 occasions by Denmark, scoring 22 goals.

Following his season on Wearside, the Dane moved to the Grand Old Lady of Italy, Juventus, on another season-long loan from Arsenal.

Whilst at Juventus, Bendtner struggled with injuries and was limited to only nine league starts as the Turin side won their 29th league title.