Sunderland striker out for derby goal to aid chances of Russia move
Nicklas Bendtner is still waiting for his first goal of 2012, but at 7/4 he may be worth backing to score at any time in Sunderland’s crunch derby with Newcastle to enhance his chances of becoming the next Premier League star to move to Russia.
Arsenal have already shipped Andrey Arshavin off to Russia in recent weeks and it seems that Bendtner may be set to follow suit in the summer as Arsene Wenger clears out his deadwood in preparation for a big spending spree.
Unfortunately for Bendtner, his lasting legacy at Arsenal is a negative, when his mis-control in the second leg of the Champions League last 16 clash with Barcelona effectively cost his team a spot in the next round on away goals.
One of the big problems he has found at Arsenal is never managing to ensure a steady run of games in the first team, always playing second fiddle to the likes of Emmanuel Adebayor and then Robin Van Persie.
A loan move to Sunderland this season was meant to give Bendtner the platform to showcase his ability when a regular starter, but he has again failed to inspire with just three goals in 18 appearances.
This form is not enough for the Dane to play his way back into Wenger’s plans and it is now virtually guaranteed that he will be moved on permanently in the summer.
The Russian top flight is taking on a growing reputation in European football, with Arshavin and former Blackburn defender Chris Samba recently agreeing terms to join the revolution.
With money no drawback at clubs including Anzhi in particular, the chance to play in Russia has become more eye opening and Bendtner would certainly consider any terms that he is offered.
A fine end to the season would be a boost to Bendtner’s career prospects and his second-half appearance against West Brom represented his first Sunderland game in a month.
He will now be pushing for a starting berth against Newcastle for his first Tyne-Wear derby and Bendtner is 6/1 to make an impact by opening the scoring, with Sunderland 5/2 to claim local bragging rights with a victory.