Sunday, January 9, 2011

Arsenal Future Strikers: Can Carlos Vela and Nicklas Bendtner shine for the Gunners?

Arsene Wenger has confirmed there are as many as ten clubs interested in acquiring the services of Carlos Vela on a loan deal but it is still unclear which would be his destination by the end of January. The French tactician has indicated that he would like the youngster to stay in England but admitted that the Mexican International's opinion would also be important.

The Mexican International was again on the bench for the recently concluded FA Cup tie and will surely be loaned out for the rest of the season. The tricky attacker has tried hard to break into the first team but has not been able to establish himself and with three quality players ahead of him in the pecking order, it will be difficult for Wenger to provide him with many opportunities to prove his undoubted talent.

The Frenchman has said that he is not willing to sell a player of his quality and will only loan him out. But only time will tell if Vela can adjust successfully to the rigours of the Premiership and establish himself in the Arsenal first team. The versatile Mexican International is an excellent squad player to have but at his age, he deserves to be playing regularly and sitting on the bench will not help him realise his potential.

However Wenger has a proven track record of developing youngsters with immense potential into world class players and has the capability to develop him into an excellent player. But for that to happen, Vela would have to be patient and when the chance arrives, he will have to grab the opportunity. He can take inspiration from the progress of Theo Walcott who has been an impact substitute for a lot of matches but is getting his chances to start matches this season.

Nicklas Bendtner is another striker who has been frustrated by the lack of opportunities due to Marouane Chamakh's impressive form at the start of the season. Also, with Robin van Persie fully fit, his opportunities will further reduce as the Dutchman is easily the best striker that Arsenal have when he is fit. Bendtner has been affected by a number of injuries in the recent past which has also been a factor in his reduced playing time.

The big Dane had an excellent second half of the previous season when he scored numerous vital goals and looked set for a bigger role this season. However injuries and the form of Chamakh has kept him out of the starting 11 in a number of games and he is understandably frustrated by the lack of games at Arsenal.

He has been linked with a number of clubs but the fact is that Wenger rates the Dane very highly and has a lot of faith in his ability. However Bendtner's profligacy in front of goal has meant that he has not come close to scoring 20 goals in a season which is what Arsenal need from the striker in the future. He has shown that he has a lot of potential but has not utilized it too much and needs to work harder on his game.

However the big question is whether Carlos Vela and Nicklas Bendtner do have a bright future at Arsenal because they are currently not getting too many opportunities. They are behind Robin van Persie and Marouane Chamakh in the pecking order which is why the duo are not getting many opportunities to prove their calibre.

Robin van Persie is one of the most injury-prone players and has missed a number of games due to injuries in the past. However most of his injuries are impact injuries and though he has missed some playing time, he has not lost his impeccable ball control and his creativity. His game is not reliant on pace and at the age of 27, he still has a long future with Arsenal.

Marouane Chamakh was signed on a free transfer this season from FC Bordeaux and has turned out to be a great signing for the Gunners. He is one of the fittest players in the squad and his experience is invaluable to the club. Besides, he has a good first touch and a knack of scoring important goals which has helped him score 11 goals this season. The Moroccan International has been preferred over the likes of Bendtner and Vela.

Arsenal are a club which bring through many young talents and in that regard, England youth International Benik Afobe on loan to Huddersfield is also a highly rated talented and by the time the duo of Van Persie and Chamakh turn 30, Afobe could become an important player for the squad. The Gunners have also been linked with teenage sensation Connor Wickham and could bring him to the Emirates in order to develop him into a fine young English striker.

The Gunners have good attacking options in Van Persie and Chamakh but because of the lack of enough playing time, Vela and Bendtner could both depart the club. Arsene Wenger is trying his best to shuffle his squad to provide opportunities to the two talented youngsters. There will be opportunities for both the youngsters but it depends on how they perform when they are provided with a chance to prove their credentials for a first team place.

Both Carlos Vela and Nicklas Bendtner are rated highly by Wenger who has a lot of faith in the lads. However their determination and hard work will determine whether they can establish themselves in the Arsenal first team in the future. But as long as Wenger is there at the helm, Arsenal FC will continue to produce and develop talented youngsters who can be great for the future.

The French tactician is someone who always backs a youngster if he can see the quality in the player. He has huge belief in the quality of Vela and Bendtner and can guide them to attain more success with the Gunners in the future.

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