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Ode to a Departing Player: Nicklas Bendtner

This is the look of one confident player.
This is the look of one confident player.

News is starting to come out that Nicklas Bendtner has been loaned out to the Old Lady for the 2012-2013 season. The move shouldn't shock too many here since his arrival back to the club from his loan last season at EPL side Sunderland failed to see Bendtner make the squad, and he was given the green light by Arsene Wenger this offseason to find another club to ply his trade.

He arrived at Arsenal in the summer transfer window of 2004 with dreams and aspirations to be the kind of aerial target man in the box the club lacked for a time, but all the future potential and talent he possessed (and boastfully reminded others about, as evidenced by his now-infamous confidence examination), it never seemed to translate once he stepped foot on the pitch. Bendtner's ability to control the ball with his feet led him to play out wide on the wing as well as up front in the center - deputizing Robin van Persie often when the Dutchman played the training table more than he played center forward. He never scored more than 10 league goals in his Arsenal career, and he saw his name called less and less by Le Professeur with each passing year, culminating with his loan move to the Stadium of Light last season.

In the end, Bendtner will be remembered less for what he accomplished on the pitch during his time with the Arsenal and more for the natural talent and potential (along with his pink boots, his on-pitch skirmish with Emmanuel Adebayor and his drunken exploits) that went wasted. For all the jokes made about him, I am truly sad to see such a player not fulfill the promise he once showed here, and that's the real tragedy in situations like these.

Godspeed, The Greatest Striker That Ever Lived.

Update: From his Twitter:

"I can now finally say I am a Juventus player. Very proud and can't wait to wear the stripes! I hope we will have great times together.

"I want to fulfil (sic) my potential here and show the fans my absolute best as that is yet to come. I am sure I will.

"Thanks for all the support from the Arsenal fans and the Sunderland fans, means the world. We always believe and that gets us far!"