Nicklas Bendtner is set to make his first competitive Arsenal appearance in 767 days after Arsene Wenger confirmed the Danish striker will be part of the Capital One Cup squad he takes to West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday.
Describing the 25-year-old as a someone who ‘lost his way a little bit’ (presumably down a one-way street in Copenhagen while over the limit) the boss underlined that if the Academy graduate finds form when called upon he will be given the opportunity to prove himself more regularly.
“If he is fit, I will use Nicklas,” the boss told press on Friday.
“He is a good striker. He could play against West Brom, he will be in the squad for sure.”
As has been well documented Bendtner has undertaken loan spells at Sunderland and Juventus in the last two years only for disciplinary and fitness problems to seriously hamper his early promise.
Publically declaring his eagerness to quit Arsenal as far back as July 2011, he looked almost certain to leave the Emirates this summer only for Wenger to block a deadline day move to Crystal Palace having failed to find a replacement.
“It is a fantastic opportunity for him,” continued Wenger.
“Honestly, he was supposed to go, but he stayed and once he stays you have to consider him as a full player of the squad.
“If he deserves to play in front of [Olivier] Giroud, he plays in front of Giroud. That is as simple as that.
“He lost his way a little bit, but he is not a bad boy. He is a good guy.
“He took the easy way a little bit but now he realises there are some [signals] in your career when players think that is the moment for them. He has got the message.”
There’s not much more that can be added to the Bendtner saga, if he wears the Arsenal shirt (this time with no.23 on his back) he’ll get the support of the fans, but he’s got a long way to go if he’s to earn our trust again.