Nicklas Bendtner is ready to play against Chelsea in the Capital One Cup tonight, according to manager Arsene Wenger.
The Danish striker, who came close to leaving the north London club during the summer, was retained by the Frenchman when he failed in a last ditch attempt to prise Demba Ba away from Chelsea.
But the Arsenal manager is confident that Bendtner can put in a strong performance in tonight’s fourth round tie at the Emirates Stadium.
“Nicklas has been away for a lot of time and he was half – when I say half I mean 80 percent – out of the club, and in the end he decided to stay and I stopped him from going,” Wenger told the London Evening Standard.
Bendtner has only made one start for the Gunners so far this season – scoring from the spot in a third round penalty shootout victory over West Bromwich Albion.
The match against the Baggies finished 1-1 after extra-time, with the Dane also providing the assist for Thomas Eisfield’s opening goal.
"I must say, he responded in a positive way and that is what we want from him now,” Wenger added.
“That is what you want from him in this game. You want to be respected and liked by your own fans, and I think he is. Nicklas will get even more credit if he shows great fight tonight and does well.”
Bendtner fell out of favour at Arsenal in 2011 and was shipped out on loan to Sunderland, where he scored eight goals in 28 appearances.
Last season he made only nine appearances during a loan spell at Juventus which was hampered by a thigh injury that required surgery, but Wenger feels he is ready to start against Chelsea tonight.
The Frenchman concluded: “I believe he is physically ready, a very good player and if his concentration is 100 percent he will be a great asset for us.”
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