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
© Getty Images
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
Read Next:
Petit urges Arsenal League Cup success
>
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CLeicester CityLeicester382312368363281
2Arsenal382011765362971
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs381913669353470
4Manchester CityMan City381991071413066
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd381991049351466
6Southampton381891159411863
7West Ham UnitedWest Ham381614865511462
8Liverpool3816121063501360
9Stoke CityStoke38149154155-1451
10Chelsea381214125953650
11Everton381114135955447
12Swansea CitySwansea381211154252-1047
13Watford38129174050-1045
14West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom381013153448-1443
15Crystal Palace38119183951-1242
16Bournemouth38119184567-2242
17Sunderland38912174862-1439
RNewcastle UnitedNewcastle38910194465-2137
RNorwich CityNorwich3897223967-2834
RAston Villa3838272776-4917