Nicklas Bendtner is on his way back to English football and, after years of searching, could finally be heading to one of the few places in this world that will truly embrace him.
The Danish striker has agreed terms with Championship club Nottingham Forest following his release from Wolfsburg this summer. The two parties look a match made in heaven.
Famously eccentric and bullish in equal measure, Bendtner has frustrated many a fan in failing to marry his confidence with on-pitch results.
Since taking over as Forest owners in 2012, the Al-Hasawi family have made a habit of spouting the kind of bold statement their new striker would be proud of. So far their attempts to remove the first word from the club’s reputation as fallen giants have been unsuccessful.
Forest are currently playing their 18th campaign away from the English top flight. The club’s best finish in the Al-Hasawi era is eighth and the Kuwaiti owners have employed six permanent managers in just over four years.
However, three wins from the first five matches this season has the Reds sat one place outside the play-offs and just four points from top.
There is genuine hope that this could be the long-awaited season when Premier League football finally returns to Nottingham. In keeping with the side’s slightly bizarre methodology, they’ve placed their faith in Bentdner helping them attain it.
Despite scoring just nine goals in 47 all-competition outings in Germany, the 28-year-old will be in little doubt that he can be of service.
His overall club record isn’t much to write home about, with 76 goals coming in 305 total appearances. But in true enigma fashion the former Arsenal striker has been far more impressive for his country, scoring 29 times in 73 caps.
The one and only campaign he spent in England’s second tier yielded 11 goals in 42 outings for Birmingham in 2006/07. It remains the best league season of his career.
A switch to Forest will give Bendtner plenty of opportunities to score. Philippe Montanier’s side are the second-top scorers in the Championship through five games and have had more shots on target than all bar one rival in the division.
If the Dane starts slotting chances away at his international rate, then the 12/1 about his new club gaining promotion this season will suddenly look mighty long.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.