Nicklas Bendtner will get the opportunity to rebuild his somewhat damaged reputation at Sunderland, and Craig Gardner is excited by the potential of the Dane.

The much-maligned Arsenal striker has been the butt of jokes from Gunners fans for his questionable scoring record and penchant for missing gilt-edged opportunities, but has been offered a fresh start by Steve Bruce.

It may only be a loan move to the Stadium of Light for Bendtner, but his season-long stay in the north-east will offer the 23-year-old a chance to silence his critics.

Gardner, for one, expects his fellow summer signing to thrive at Sunderland and will be more than happy to lay on the goals for the Denmark international.

"To be honest I haven't played with him before but I know what he's capable of," Gardner told the official Sunderland website.


 

"He's a big, strong lad who scores goals - we can't wait to get him on the training field now and see what he's got.

"Nicklas has a big reputation and he's always looked good whenever I've seen him play."

The midfielder added: "You can cross a ball into the box and you know he'll be there because he is great in the air.

"He's strong with both feet and holds the ball up well. You need players like that in the team.

"It's more competition and more pressure on people to do well and score goals. That's great to have."

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Nicklas Bendtner