Arsene Wenger praises 'positive' Nicklas Bendtner return, but warns the striker must stay fit
After his first Arsenal appearance since August 2011, Arsene Wenger described Nicklas Bendtner’s return in the League Cup penalty victory over West Bromwich Albion on Wednesday night as “positive”, but the maintained the striker has to stay fit to figure in his plans.
The 25-year-old, who has been out on two loan spells – at Sunderland and Juventus – since he last played for Arsenal, made the assist for Thomas Eisfeld for the Gunners' goal, but dwindled on a chance in extra-time before the ball was taken away from him by Craig Dawson. He did make amends for the miss by stepping up to slot away his penalty in the shoot-out coolly.
"I thought overall he had a good game," Wenger said of the Dane. "For a guy who has not played for such a long time, and on his own up front, he did very well.
"I believe for Nicklas, the most important thing for him is to stay fit. As for the rest, he has the talent.
"It is important that he is now consistently present and works hard physically. He has top qualities."
On Bendtner's late opportunity, when he was dispossessed by Dawson after taking his time on the chance, Wenger added:
"What happened to him is what happens to many strikers when they have too much time to score - they wait and wait, and wait for too long. But overall, I thought his game was positive.
"One thing you don't question too much with him is his confidence."
Capital One Cup fourth round draw: Arsenal v Chelsea will be an 'interesting game' says Arsene Wenger
Arsenal will face Chelsea in a mouth-watering Capital One Cup fourth round tie after overcoming West Brom on penalties on Wednesday night.
Undoubtedly the tie of the last 16, it had looked like it would not come to fruition as the Gunners struggled at the Hawthorns.
However, with the match ending 1-1 after extra time, Arsene Wenger's side eventually won 4-3 on penalties to secure a home tie with Jose Mourinho's Chelsea on either October 29 or 30.
Wenger said: "It will be an interesting game. They have a very large squad so we will know we are playing another Premier League team, and on our side, we are at home. So it will be interesting."
Arsenal v Chelsea is one of five all-Premier League encounters in the last 16.
Newcastle will welcome Manchester City to St James' Park after overcoming Leeds, while Hull travel to Tottenham just days after heading to White Hart Lane in the Premier League.
Managerless Sunderland play host to Mauricio Pochettino's Southampton, while Manchester United's reward for beating rivals Liverpool is a home clash with Norwich.
"Well, you always want a home draw if you can get it," United boss David Moyes told Sky Sports 1.
"Norwich are a good side, they have got a good manager and we will give them every respect."
Elsewhere, West Ham head north to take on Sky Bet Championship outfit Burnley and Martin Jol's Fulham travel to Leicester in search of a quarter-final berth.
Birmingham ousted holders Swansea 3-1 and have been handed another home match in the last 16, this time against Mark Hughes' Stoke.
Draw for the fourth round...
Tottenham Hotspur v Hull City
Newcastle United v Manchester City
Burnley v West Ham United
Arsenal v Chelsea
Birmingham City v Stoke City
Manchester United v Norwich City
Sunderland v Southampton
Leicester City v Fulham