The Denmark international is in line to make his first appearance for the Gunners since 2011 against West Bromwich Albion in the third round of the League Cup on Wednesday.
The 25-year-old has not appeared in the Arsenal first team for over two years, having spent time on loan at Sunderland and Juventus, while his last goal for Wenger’s side was one that earned him a hat-trick in the FA Cup against Leyton Orient in March 2011.
Bendtner was an unused substitute in the win against Stoke City at the weekend and Wenger believes he will get a warm welcome from the travelling fans if he proves he can still cut it at the top level.
Speaking to Arsenal official website, he said:
He had nearly gone somewhere else [in August] and in the end he stayed because it didn’t work out and we needed him here.
Now he can convince everybody. We are open-minded, we believe in his qualities. I personally believe in his qualities. It’s just down to attitude and fighting [spirit]. When he has that, Nicklas can be an unstoppable striker. He gets his chance. Our job is about that. Take your chance.
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Fans forgive you everything as long as you produce the performances on the football pitch. That’s what people want. I think our fans have a positive attitude towards Bendtner and they will be behind him. Only you can create that with your performances.
Wenger is hopeful that Bendtner can emulate the current form of the Gunners first choice forward Olivier Giroud, with the France international being rested for the trip to the Hawthorns. He added:
He can use his body [with his] back to goal. He’s an intelligent player, he can play intelligent passes and protect. He’s a similar type size-wise to Olivier Giroud. The central role is perfect for him. I see him as a center forward.
Wenger is odds on to give Olivier Giroud a rest this week which means Nicklas Bendtner could find himself starting line up against West Brom as the lone striker. He is a natural target man because of his height and his power and he stands a great chance of being able to hold the ball up effectively, gradually bringing more creative players into the game. He’s an enigma for sure but there are attitude problems which need to be sorted out for him to reach his potential.
The best thing that can happen for Bendtner’s confidence is a good performance, his fitness holding up and a goal or two. Some sections of Arsenal supporters have been very critical over the Danish striker and the easiest way for him to win those fans back is to put in a solid and respectable performance.
How much of an impact do you expect Bendtner to have? Let us know your thoughts?