I always believed in Bendtner, says Wenger

The 63-year-old says the Denmark international, who scored the opener in the 2-0 win over Hull City, needs to maintain a high level of fitness in order to challenge for a place
Arsene Wenger insists he has always kept his faith in Nicklas Bendtner and believes the Dane can play a part in Arsenal’s title bid this season.

The 25-year-old made his first start for Arsenal since March 2011 and scored the opening goal in the club's 2-0 victory over Hull City on Wednesday evening.

Wednesday night’s fixture was Bendtner’s eighth appearance for Arsenal this term and Wenger believes that the forward needs to maintain a high level of fitness in order to compete for a place alongside Olivier Giroud.

"Nicklas has the qualities. I signed him twice on long contracts here because I believe in his qualities and when he shows that kind of attitude and commitment, it shows he has the qualities,” said Bendtner.

"His last performance was not convincing against Chelsea [in October], but he has worked hard in training and deserved a chance.

"He has the stature, he has good technical quality, he has quite good pace. We had him as a boy of 15 or 16 and I made him sign a long contract twice so that means I always believed in his qualities.

"It all depends on his commitment and his fitness. He has worked hard recently and when he is physically sharp, he can compete with everybody. He had a good performance."