Sunderland boss Bruce backs ‘fantastic talent’ Bendtner to flourish

Niklas Bendtner
Niklas Bendtner
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STEVE Bruce believes Sunderland new boy Niklas Bendtner is “a fantastic talent”

With Asamoah Gyan injured for the Black Cats’ home clash with Chelsea tomorrow, Bendtner is set for his debut after making a deadline day loan move from Arsenal.

He preceded his arrival on Wearside with a match-winning double for Denmark in midweek.

Bruce hopes Bendtner, who played under the Black Cats manager as a teenager at Birmingham, can do for him this season what Manchester United loanee Danny Welbeck did during the last campaign, and while he knows he may be dealing with a more complex character this time around, he is convinced he has achieved a coup in landing him.

Bruce said: “As we witnessed in the week, he’s a fantastic talent, a very, very good player.

“He’s hard work at times - he will be hard work at times - but he’s a big, genuine, honest boy who wants to come and play.

“I hope he can flourish in the surroundings in which he finds himself, and I think he will.

“Everybody knows his ability - and he’s only 23 now. He has played 150 times for Arsenal and scored 40 goals, near enough, so there’s no questioning his ability.

“He had a bad car crash which shook him up badly. By the sound of it, it was pretty horrific and he was lucky to get out of it.

“He needed to go and play somewhere. He will play here and hopefully flourish.”