Wenger: Bendtner future still with Arsenal

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has reassured striker Nicklas Bendtner that his future lies at Emirates Stadium, despite the Danish hitman raising concerns over his own future last week.

Bendtner, 22, voiced his frustration to a Danish newspaper on Friday over what he considers to be a lack of first-team football, after recovering from a long-term groin injury that had him sidelined for the majority of the season to date.

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The Danish international suggested he would be looking for a new club should Wenger continue to ignore him, a policy Wenger persisted with as his side triumphed 2-1 at Everton in the Premier League on Sunday.

"I'm extremely disappointed with the lack of minutes," Bendtner reportedly told the Danish press on Friday.

"If the situation doesn't change and I'm still on the bench at Arsenal, I'll look for a transfer. That's obvious. But my first priority is definitely - as it has always been - to play for Arsenal. I've had a lot of patience and I won't sit on the bench anymore."

But Wenger insists his decision to leave the Dane out the squad that travelled to Goodison Park on Sunday was because of a slight injury and not because of his surprise outburst.

"He was not in the squad because he had a little groin problem and I left him at home," Wenger told Sky Sports.

And when pressed on the issue, Wenger claimed that he wants his impatient forward to remain under his tutelage for the foreseeable future.

"Yes, for the length of his contract, that is three more years," he added.

"I want him to stay. I have known him since he was 16-years-old and I have a strong rapport with him.

"I like him as a player and a person, even if I do not agree with every statement. Overall I want him to stay and be part of the group.

"He has to continue to work hard. When he is completely match fit he will play. He has to be a little bit patient."

By James Martini