Arsene Wenger has urged former Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner to seize the chance to restart his career with Nottingham Forest this season..
Bendtner, 28, spent nine years at Arsenal and will face his former side on Tuesday night when the Gunners travel to the City Ground to face Forest in the third round of the EFL Cup.
The Denmark international was unable to ever hold down a regular place in Wenger’s side before signing for Wolfsburg in 2014.
Bendtner was viewed as a player of immense potential when he made his Arsenal first-team debut at the age of just 17 in 2005 but he never blossomed into the player many hoped he would become under Wenger.
The Arsenal manager admits he is surprised to see Bendtner plying his trade in the Championship after a couple of difficult years in the Bundesliga.
“It was a surprise to me that Nicklas signed for Nottingham Forest, but at some stage Nicklas needs to restart his career,” he said.
“You have to adapt and we are in a job when we have to show we are able to put our effort in everywhere and compete.
“Sometimes when you are a player of his quality, you just need an opportunity. We know his qualities and he is a top-quality player, but he needs to play.”
Wenger feels Bendtner will go out with a point to prove against Arsenal and knows he can succeed in the Sky Bet Championship having shone in the division during a loan spell at Birmingham early in his career.
“Of course he has a point to prove,” he added. “He’s playing at a level where he is not used to. But he did start his career at this level at Birmingham City with Steve Bruce, where he did very well. Nicklas is humble enough and focused enough to show he can fight again.”