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Revealed: Bendtner’s furious row with Wenger

Bendtner and Wenger

Nicklas Bendtner will never forget the summer transfer window of 2013 - for all the wrong reasons.

Out of favour in north London and in search of a new challenge, the Dane was on the verge of joining Crystal Palace on deadline day, but right at the 11th hour, it collapsed.

“I was very happy going to Palace,” Bendtner told our ‘In Lockdown’ podcast. “We were sat four days before the transfer window closed and I had agreed the move and everything, I was just waiting to see if Arsenal could bring in another striker.

“But unfortunately they couldn’t and I had to go back the next day. (Arsene and I) had a heated discussion on the phone due to me not wanting to come back and wanting to sign for Palace, but he couldn’t let me go because he was thinking of the club and team, so he was right and I was right in brackets, if you know what I mean.

Click here to order your copy of Nicklas' autobiography, Both Sides

“In that time the ideal situation would probably have been if they got another striker and I could have moved on to Palace, but that’s also sometimes those career-defining moments. If I would have gone there, the situation would have looked a lot different, so I came back to Arsenal and I was part of the team for six months until I scored a winner and got injured with my ankle and then from that moment, I didn’t go and play with the first team again.

“Obviously it was very difficult not being part of the matchday and just waiting to move, but I have huge respect for Arsene and I think he was an amazing manager and what he did for the club, a club that I’ve always loved, was phenomenal. The way he was thinking, I can look back now and say he never did anything for himself.

“He always did everything he could for for the club with his mind and what is best for the club, and that’s very admirable. He wasn’t afraid of taking big decisions in the greater good and I think that’s one of the top traits as a top manager. Even though we had a disagreement, I have tremendous respect for him and what he’s done.”

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Hleb I still don't understand why I left Arsenal

Alex Hleb

On July 16, 2008, Alex Hleb left Arsenal and joined Barcelona - a move he now admits was a mistake. 

Speaking exclusively to our 'In Lockdown' podcast, our former winger explains how he came to leave north London.
 
"Many years later and I still think about it," Hleb said. "I don't understand. To this day I still don't understand what happened or why I made the decision. 

 
"Of course, Barcelona in that moment was the best team in the world but I was really happy at Arsenal at the time. I had friends, I enjoyed the coach, I was playing for one of the best teams, the fans, the stadium, everything! The fantastic championship, the Premier League, everything!
 
"Why I left, I don't understand. Barca, of course, were the best team at the time and everybody wants something to try but really I was 100 per cent happy at Arsenal.
 
"I cried when I talked to Arsene. We talked in the holiday before I left and he told me he wanted to keep me and I was important. I cried. I didn't know what to do in that moment. 
 

Alex Hleb

"Of course, Barca is a fantastic team. I won titles and everything but I didn't play as much as I did at Arsenal. This is only my mistake because at the time, a lot of things happened in my private life. I started very nervously [at Barcelona]. Always aggressive. It was only my mistake. 
 
"This is not a situation where Guardiola didn't trust me or something like that. No, this is only my mistake. At Arsenal I was happy, you know? When you're happy in the team, you need to stay. 
 
“Of course [I still think about my career]. When you're young you think you have so many years but it's really like one moment. It's really quick. My children now ask me about [my career] and you explain your emotions and it's nice, it's very nice.”

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