Wenger backs Bendtner role
Arsene Wenger maintains fans have finally been won over by striker Nicklas Bendtner.
Last Updated: 23/06/09 5:27pm
Arsene Wenger maintains Nicklas Bendtner remains an important part of his squad and thinks fans have finally been won over by the big Dane.
Bendtner has come under scrutiny in the past from fans for below-par performances but managed to net 15 goals in 50 games last season with the majority coming from off the bench.
Wenger believes the 21-year-old has finally put the doubters to rest and sees a bright future for his Arsenal career after reports of a switch to Roma were rubbished.
"Nicklas has made big improvements since the start of the season. He has become an important player for this club," Wenger told the club's official magazine.
"When Nicklas is really switched on and focused, he is a handful for any defence in the world.
"He has shown that in the second part of the season. People forget how young he is, but I am sure he has won many people over in the second half of the season."
The Gunners have added to their squad already this season with the confirmed arrival of Belgian £11m defender Thomas Vermaelen last week.
Wenger has now set his sights on improving his midfield options with an experienced anchorman to support the first choice pairing of Cesc Fabregas and Denilson.
Brazilian Felipe Melo of Fiorentina is reported £15m target while Udinese's Gokhan Inler has also been strongly linked with a move to the Emirates, but Wenger believes his team have already matured over the last season.
"We have done well since November in every competition last season. We just missed that final step, but I believe the team are getting that now as it becomes more mature.
"The team has matured tactically a lot over the season, and they are ready to challenge on all fronts next season."