Nicklas Bendtner: The moment I knew I had to leave Arsenal

NICKLAS Bendtner might only be at Sunderland until the end of the season, but once his loan deal expires the striker seems determined to burn his bridges once and for all with parent club Arsenal.

Nicklas Bendtner

NICKLAS Bendtner might only be at Sunderland until the end of the season, but once his loan deal expires the striker seems determined to burn his bridges once and for all with parent club Arsenal.

Bendtner’s arrival on Wearside before the summer transfer window shut proved timely when Asamoah Gyan departed soon after.

A lack of first-team opportunities at the Emirates made the Dane more receptive to a move elsewhere to get more match action.

Particularly as the 40-cap Danish international does not want to miss out on any potential European Championship action next year should the Danes ensure qualification either next week or via a play-off.

Bendtner had previously berated Arsenal not long after joining up with Sunderland, vowing never to return.

He has again reiterated his disgust with Arsene Wenger’s regime, citing last season’s Carling Cup Final – which the Gunners lost 2-1 to Birmingham City – as the moment he knew he had to get out.

He said: “I can point to a precise moment I knew I had to leave.

“It was when I looked at the team sheet before the Carling Cup final and saw that I was not going to start. It was my worst moment in football.

“I was sad, stunned and disappointed beyond measure.

“I had played all our matches in the competition, scored goals and I was feeling really sharp.

“I felt things would never be good for me again at Arsenal after that.”

By way of coincidence, Sunderland will visit the Emirates Stadium a week on Sunday.

Due to the conditions of his loan agreement, Bendtner will not be allowed to face his old team.

He added: “That is frustrating but hopefully the lads will do well. It is a tough place. We know how Arsenal will play. We will have to try to get something out of the game.”

Bendtner does appear more at ease at his new surroundings – despite the league position – and backs his new team-mates to get the Black Cats rocketing up the table.

He said: “How do I think it is going at Sunderland? We have great players here. It is down to us to prove that and not just talk about it.

“We would rather show on the pitch that we should be on the other side of the table. I am sure we will in the weeks to come after the international break. We are good enough and strong enough, but we just need back- to-back wins.”

Despite only being at Sunderland a month, Bendtner already looks to have clicked with his new strike partner Stephane Sessegnon.

The duo combined well last week as they spearheaded Sunderland’s comeback from being 2-0 down at home to West Bromwich Albion to bag a two-all draw, in which Bendtner not only bagged his first goal for the club but also provided the assist for Ahmed Elmohamady’s equaliser.

Bendtner continued: “You can see Sessegnon and I are starting to gel together.

“We are trying to find each other, look for the balls to put one another in in training.

“We put a lot of work in to see if we can find the runs and the goals we do in training.

“I was delighted to get my first goal. Sessegnon pulled it back, I saw the tackle coming in and I hit it.

“It took a deflection and it went in. It was a relief. It is always special to get off the mark.

“It was always going to come at one point if you keep putting yourself in among the chances.”

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