Denmark's Nicklas Bendtner is a rising star for English club Arsenal. ((OLIVIER MORIN/AFP/Getty Images))


Born: Jan. 16, 1988, in Copenhagen

Position: Striker

Nickname: Nikki B

Clubs played for: Bendtner came through the youth ranks of Copenhagen clubs B.93 and Kjobenhavns Boldklub before leaving for England where he joined Arsenal's youth team in 2004. He made his senior team debut the following year, but was sent out on loan to Birmingham City in 2006. The Dane returned to Arsenal at the start of the 2007-08 Premier League campaign.

International career: After playing for the Danish Under-19 side, he was called up to the U-21 squad in May 2006 and then made his senior team debut later that year - while he was still only 18 - scoring in a win over Poland.

Why is he so special? Displaying good aerial prowess, Bendtner uses his six-foot-four-inch frame to full effect inside the penalty box. He also moves with great quickness for a player of his physical stature.

His most famous moment: When he scored the winning goal for Arsenal against rivals Tottenham on Dec. 22, 2007. The goal, Bendtner's first for the Gunners in the Premier League, came within 1.8 seconds of being subbed on, an English League record.

He said it: "It does not really matter to me who is fit and available. I should start every game, I should be playing every minute of every match and always be in the team."

What they're saying about him: "He is a player who will improve every year. Nicklas has good size and is a very [fast] player considering his size. He has an intelligent game with good vision." - Arsene Wenger, Arsenal's manager

Here's an interesting fact: Bendtner changed his jersey number from 26 to 52 before the start of the 2009-10 season. As a concession to fans who already purchased his jersey, Bendtner offered to cover the cost of any Arsenal supporter who wanted to buy one with his new number.