By Giuseppe Muro

Arsène Wenger has played down media speculation that Nicklas Bendtner is unhappy with life at Arsenal.

Reports had suggested Bendtner was concerned over his perceived lack of football since returning from a groin injury that plagued him for much of the past year. But Wenger says that is perfectly normal and insists that all players want to be starting on a weekly basis.

The Dane scored at Manchester City and Newcastle after returning to action but he wasn’t in Sunday’s squad at Everton, news that ramped up the speculation. Wenger called for calm after the 2-1 win and stressed that he expects Bendtner to stay at Arsenal.

“I have known Nicklas since he was 16 years old and I have a good rapport and good communication with him,” said Wenger. “I want him to stay.

“I like him as a player and as a person. Even if I do not necessarily agree with all his statements, I want him to stay and be part of the group.

“It is very difficult when you meet a player that says he doesn’t want to play more when he doesn’t play. There is nothing really special in that.”

The international break is now upon us and Wenger expects Bendtner to miss Denmark’s game against Czech Republic on Wednesday. However he admits he will not have the final say on his inclusion.

“He was not in the squad against Everton because he had a little groin problem and I left him at home. I don’t know [whether he will be part of the Danish national squad].

“They can call him up and check his condition. I would prefer him not to go. He would prefer to stay as well.”

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15 Nov 2010