Mikel Arteta has insisted Nicklas Bendtner is important to Arsenal’s title bid, according to the Guardian.
Bendtner marked his first Premier League for Arsenal since 2011 with a headed goal in the 2-0 win over Hull City on Wednesday night.
It was in fact his first goal in Arsenal colours for three years, and one Arteta felt he deserved.
“He deserves it,” said Arteta. “He has been working really hard. He joined us in pre-season and was rewarded today. He got the chance and got a very good goal.”
Bendtner looked likely to leave the Emirates on a permanent deal in the summer, but the failure to bring in a new forward meant the Dane was forced to stay and act as a back up to Olivier Giroud.
Arteta understands the importance of squad depth, and believes keeping Bendtner at the club could prove crucial to Arsenal’s title challenge – as unlikely as it may seem.
“The good thing is we can still rotate the squad and keep winning,” said Arteta. “The squad players can contribute and help the team be successful. Every member of the squad is important and Nicklas is no different. He is an Arsenal player and while he is here, he is 100% here. I don’t think he will be thinking of doing anything different because he likes playing here.
“I think it (the competition for places) is great. Everybody has to be on their toes and everybody feels important. You are going to need everyone if you are going to achieve something. The Christmas period is going to be massively important but with the quality, the ambition and the togetherness that we have I think we are in a good position.”