By Chris Harris
As far as Nicklas Bendtner is concerned, Carlos Vela has been well worth the wait.
The Danish striker's double set up Arsenal's sparkling victory against Sheffield United on Tuesday night but Bendtner was ultimately upstaged by Vela as the 19-year-old marked his full debut with a stunning hat-trick.
Bendtner was on loan at Birmingham when Vela signed for Arsenal in January 2007 but had to wait 18 months to meet the Mexican because the teenager continued his development in Spain until his work permit was issued. Now, after their belated introduction, Bendtner and Vela are clicking on the pitch.
"He is a good striker," said Bendtner. "I remember he came here when he was 16 and then we didn't see him for nearly two years. But he showed good things when he came here on trial and since he came here for the start of the season he has been doing really well.
"He works really hard and is a really good finisher as we saw last night. I think we combined really well. All through pre-season we have been playing together and I think he can be a really, really good player."
"He has had to be patient but everything is through now and he is here and we are delighted to have him."
With Emmanuel Adebayor, Robin van Persie, Eduardo and now Vela on the books at Emirates Stadium, Bendtner faces even stiffer competition for a first-team place. But he is a man on the up with four goals in four games and relishes the challenge ahead.
"For myself, I try to push on as much as possible and try to get into the squad more regularly," said Bendtner. "Scoring two goals today can hopefully help with that.
"We have good strikers here but as I said I am trying to do what I can do. If I keep playing well, it's going to be hard for the boss to pick the team and that's what I want to make him do. I want him to consider when he picks the team who to play."Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 24 Sep 2008