Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger hailed Nicklas Bendtner’s skills after a virtuoso display in Wednesday’s 2-0 Premier League win over Hull City.
The Dane’s inclusion in Arsenal’s XI at the expense of Olivier Giroud came as a surprise, but Bendtner produced a superb performance, scoring in just the second minute for his first goal for the club since March 2011 and troubling Hull’s defence throughout.
Mesut Ozil grabbed Arsenal’s second, as Wenger’s side dominated on home turf to maintain their four-point advantage at the Premier League summit.
After seeing first-team opportunities dry up, Bendtner has expressed his desire to quit the Emirates Stadium, but Wenger retains faith in the 25-year-old striker.
“It was a very convincing performance,” the Frenchman said. “Bendtner worked hard in training and he deserved a chance.
“He has good technical quality. I made him sign a long contract twice so I believe in his ability.”
Wenger made five changes for the visit of Steve Bruce’s side and claimed it was a necessity with the busy festive period on the horizon.
The Arsenal manager also dismissed Theo Walcott’s chances of having started the game due to illness, insisting he is not struggling with an abdominal injury that kept him out for two months.
“We have a very heavy schedule,” Wenger added. “That’s why I had to rest some players and rotate.
“I was not tempted to start Walcott, he was sick (before Saturday’s 3-0 win over Cardiff City) and sick again on Monday.”