Bendtner happy to be fighting fit

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The Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner believes he can only get better after coming through his injury problems.

The Denmark international made what was only his second appearance since a three-month lay-off after groin surgery in the 3-1 defeat to Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday, a defeat which put a dent in the Gunners' Premier League title ambitions. The manager Arsène Wenger did not move to replace injured forward Robin van Persie during the transfer window, instead placing his faith in the likes of fit-again Bendtner and England international Theo Walcott.

Bendtner, who turned 22 last month, has endured a difficult campaign, having escaped a car crash with only minor injuries during September. The young Dane, who scored 15 goals last season, hopes better times are ahead. "When people have been out with long-term injuries they say it was Hell. I can understand that now," Bendtner said. "It is difficult to motivate yourself because you come in to training each day doing the same things. But you stay motivated by telling yourself that one day soon you will be better. When you come back, you know you are going to be strong."

Wenger hopes to be able to recall Croatia striker Eduardo and France midfielder Abou Diaby from injury for the trip to Premier League leaders Chelsea on Sunday, with Liverpool coming to Emirates next week marking the end to what could well be a defining period of the Gunners' campaign. The Arsenal manager was left stunned by his side's inability once again to produce a big performance when it really mattered against United. However, Wenger's faith in the promise of youth remains undeterred.

The 19-year-old Montenegro defender Stefan Savic claims he is set to sign a pre-contract with the London club following a trial. The BSK Borca centre-half has five Under-21 caps. Savic told the Serbian newspaper Blic: "There were offers from Tottenham and Birmingham, but once a call came from Arsenal, I had no more doubts. Wenger made sure my papers were arranged and my work permit extended so I can be at more training sessions.

"He is the man. He has incredible authority at the club, everyone listens to him, assistants lead training sessions and he just supervises. Nothing can escape him. A pre-contract will be signed [tomorrow] and then I will return to Belgrade and join BSK for their preparations. I will be staying with BSK until May."