Emirates Stadium star believes image will hinder the hunt for a new club.
Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner believes he has been ‘made into a psychopath’ in the eyes of the British public.
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The Dane has confirmed he will leave the Emirates Stadium in search of first team football this summer but believes his public image has thus far proved a hinderance in the hunt for a new club.
“I have, for example, talked to clubs who say they have heard this or that story about me. So I have to tell them that it is not true,” Bendtner told Danish paper Jyllands-Posten.
“Of all the things that I have been associated with I have only done one thing wrong and that was in Copenhagen [an arrest for drink driving]. Regardless of this I have, bit by bit, in people’s eyes been made into a psychopath.”
The 26-year-old is renowned for having a high opinion of himself and became the subject of derision when he claimed he would like to join Real Madrid or Barcelona when he leaves Arsenal.
Bendtner has since revised his targets but says it is only natural that he is ambitious.
“I would much rather take a club that is close to the Champions League, as a number five to eight in its league, where I know that I play.
“If you are in an industry you surely want to reach the top. I am still the same but I have just not played the games. It hasn’t affected my self-esteem, apart from the fact that I can’t wait until I get a break – an opportunity. I am just waiting to be unleashed. This is why I don’t care about anything else but football. I just want to play football. I’m ready for a new chapter. For something completely different. A fresh start. No team-mates who I know or know of me and the club does not know me and doesn’t have those stereotypical notions about me.”
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger blocked a move for Bendtner to Crystal Palace in the summer because the Gunners lacked adequate cover for first choice centre forward Olivier Giroud.
But former Sunderland and Juventus loanee has started just one league game this season – against Hull City – and has now slipped behind 21-year-old Yaya Sanogo in the pecking order.
Bendtner admits he has felt burned by his experience at Arsenal this season.
“Yes, you can probably say that,” he says. “I do not feel that I have had a very fair chance.” But he is honest enough to admit in some moments he didn’t deserve it. “There have been times when I feel like I should have played more and there have been times when I have not been entirely fair to the club. When I was younger I wasn’t as professional as I should have been.
“My self-esteem and my confidence as a footballer has not changed but there are not many who know that, as the only picture of me is all about partying and that I am completely indifferent to football. That couldn’t be further away from the truth. When I find my right club, I am sure that everything will be all right.”