By Chris Harris
You don't need to tell Birmingham fans what Nicklas Bendtner is capable of - he was banging in the goals for them three seasons ago. And as far as Arsène Wenger is concerned, the Danish striker's spell at St. Andrew's proved that he could be a force at the highest level.
Bendtner will line up against Birmingham on Saturday if he shrugs off an ankle problem and he may even receive a warm welcome from the home fans after netting 13 times for the Blues during the 2006/07 campaign.
Like all of Arsenal's loanees, Bendtner's temporary switch came at the behest of Wenger. The manager had already seen bags of potential in Bendtner but felt that he needed to further his footballing education away from North London. A year in the Midlands did exactly that.
"I saw Nicklas Bendtner in the reserves and he had an impact in the games," explained Wenger. "But you felt as well that he needed to go somewhere to toughen up and there is no better place in the world than the Championship to give a player a realistic view of how hard this job is.
"He went there and in fairness to him, he became a regular player straight away. That shows you he has the qualities to survive at the top level."Copyright 2013 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 26 Mar 2010