Andrey Arshavin believes the return of Nicklas Bendtner has helped Arsenal - and helped him.

The Danish striker spent three months on the sidelines earlier this season after suffering a groin injury during the North London derby on October 31. And while Bendtner and Robin van Persie were both out, Arshavin filled in at centre forward.

The Russian playmaker had some success in that role but is far happier now the in-form Bendtner is back to lead the attack while he returns to his more familiar role on the left of that three-pronged strikeforce.

"Obviously it has helped us [having Bendtner back]," Arshavin told the Official Matchday Programme.

"He creates more space for the players behind him, and that offers us more time and possibilities to do something special. It helps me personally of course. And he’s good in the air - he wins a lot of balls that way and through this we can gain even more possession.

"We can play differently with him in the side – when I am playing centrally we can use only low balls, but with Nick up front we have the opportunity to play higher balls and balls in behind, varying things a bit more.

"His goals have been welcome. He’s in good form and has shown that he has the instinct for a chance – not that many teams make as many chances as we do!"

This interview first appeared in the Official Matchday Programme. You can subscribe to the Matchday Programme by calling 08700 20 20 20.

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23 Mar 2010