There was a time when Nicklas Bendtner did not need any talking up.
The Danish striker believed he was on course to becoming the greatest player on the planet when he joined Arsenal.
But before loan spells at Sunderland and Juventus, he had only become the biggest laughing stock.
First Robin van Persie stopped his path to regular first-team action, then Marouane Chamakh and Olivier Giroud hindered his progression at the Emirates.
Of course it did not help that Bendtner often played like a baby giraffe taking its first steps, even while he roared like lion.
However, after a few seasons spent agitating for a move, Bendtner is back at Arsenal, and is in line to make his comeback when the Gunners play West Brom in the Capital One Cup tonight.
Ahead of the game, Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has put his arm around the Dane, suggesting that he can be “unstoppable” if he simply works hard and gets his attitude right.
And that if he does those two things, he will win over the Gunners faithful to whom he had become a caricature of a professional footballer.
“It’s just down to attitude and fighting [spirit] and when he has that, Nicklas can be an unstoppable striker,” Wenger told the Gunners website.
“He gets his chance. Our job is about that, take your chance.
“Fans forgive you everything as long as you produce the performances on the football pitch. That’s what people want. I think our fans have a positive attitude towards Bendtner and they will be behind him. Only you can create that with your performances.”
Arsenal tried to sign a striker during the recent transfer window. They failed to do so, and are stuck with Bendtner for now, and so Wenger is doing his utmost to make the most of the resources he has at his disposal.
“We needed him here and now he can convince everybody,” he added.
“We are open-minded, we believe in his qualities. He can use his body [with his] back to goal. He’s an intelligent player, he can play intelligent passes and protect. He’s a similar type size-wise to Olivier Giroud. The central role is perfect for him.”
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