Arsene Wenger: 'Nicklas Bendtner can win over Arsenal fans'

Arsenal's Danish striker Nicklas Bendtner vies with West Bromwich Albion's English defender Craig Dawson during the League Cup football match between West Bromwich Albion and Arsenal at The Hawthorns in West Bromwich on September 25, 2013
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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes that Nicklas Bendtner's new-found focus can help him earn the support of Gunners fans this season.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has admitted that Nicklas Bendtner was "80% out of the club" at one point in the summer, but still believes that the striker can prove his worth to Gunners fans this season.

Bendtner came close to joining Crystal Palace on transfer deadline day before Wenger pulled the plug on a late deal, deciding that he needed the Dane as cover for Olivier Giroud in attack.

The Frenchman told reporters: "You want to be respected and liked by your own fans, and I think he is. Nicklas will get even more credit if has a great fight tomorrow and does well.

"Nicklas has been away for a lot of time and he was half, when I say half I mean 80% out of the club, and in the end he decided to stay and I stopped him from going.

"I must say, he responded in a positive way and that is what we want from him now. I believe he is physically ready, a very good player and if his concentration is 100 per cent to commit himself to the cause he will be a great asset for us."

The 25-year-old is in contention for his first home start of the season tonight, as Arsenal host Chelsea in a fourth-round League Cup tie at the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Petit celebrates a goal against Nottingham Forest on August 17, 1998
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1Chelsea22181347153255
2Arsenal22145350232747
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs22137245162946
4Liverpool22136351272445
5Manchester CityMan City22134543281543
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd22118333211241
7Everton22106633231036
8West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom229583028232
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11Southampton227692226-427
12Bournemouth2275103239-726
13Burnley2282122433-926
14Watford2266102538-1324
15Leicester CityLeicester2256112437-1321
16Middlesbrough2248101825-720
17Swansea CitySwansea2253142651-2518
18Crystal Palace2244143041-1116
19Hull City2244142047-2716
20Sunderland2243152042-2215