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At the age of 33, Nicklas Bendtner called time on his playing career. The Dane last kicked a ball in anger at the tail-end of 2019 for FC Copenhagen. He was on the verge of accepting an offer to play in China last year when the pandemic scuppered his plans for a final payday. His focus turned to a revealing autobiography called “Both Sides” where he openly admitted he wasted his potential indulging various vices.

Speaking to Danish station Kanal4 this morning, he said it’s over now and that he has to find other things that can give me what football has given me all these years. During nine years at Arsenal, “Lord” as he became known, played 171 times, scoring 47 goals and making 22 assists. Lured to the academy by Arsene Wenger as a 16-year-old, the striker was tipped for the top (often by himself) and fleetingly flirted with greatness but ultimately left the club in 2014, via three loan moves, a frustrated and frustrating figure.

His goal against Spurs in the 2007 north London derby, headed home 1.8 seconds after coming off the bench, remains the quickest scored by a substitute in the Premier League and is undoubtedly the high point of his time at the Emirates. A spell on the sidelines with a groin injury, sustained in a car crash he was lucky to survive, became a persistent issue and irregular game-time and disciplinary issues eventually took a toll on his form.
He did bag a very decent Champions League hat-trick against Porto in 2010 and a goal in the Nou Camp as Barcelona knocked us out at the quarter-final stage. A year later, he had the opportunity to exact revenge on Messi and co. but with a heavy touch squandered the chance to bag a tie-winning late away goal. Two years on loan followed. First, he went to Sunderland, where he joined forces with Steve Bruce who’d had him for a season at Birmingham in his formative years, and then he picked up a Scudetto with Juventus even though injury meant he spent most of his time in Turin in the treatment room.

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