NICKLAS Bendtner is eager to take his international form onto the domestic stage after linking up with his new Sunderland team-mates for the first time.
Deadline day signing Bendtner arrived on Wearside this morning for his first day of training at the Academy of Light, with negotiations for his season-long loan from Arsenal conducted while he was away on international duty with Denmark.
Black Cats boss Steve Bruce will have to consider whether to throw the 23-year-old straight into the starting line-up against Chelsea on Saturday after just two days training, although Bendtner is at least a striker on a high.
Bendtner grabbed a brace in Denmark’s 2-0 triumph over Norway on Tuesday night and admits he has been buoyed by embarking upon the next chapter in his career.
“Now everything is settled, all my focus is on Sunderland,” said Bendtner, who worked under Bruce during a loan spell at Birmingham.
“I am really looking forward to getting things going at Sunderland and it will be good with a game against Chelsea at the weekend.
“It is going to be fantastic to play regularly and I am happy to being joining Sunderland after two national goals.
“I’m looking forward to meeting the other players and experiencing the club.”
He added: “It has given me a lift to get a grip on my club situation.
“I’m happier and I think we saw that on Tuesday.
“If you mentally have a lot of stuff running through your head that you cannot do anything about and which you must live with every day, it’s a huge relief when it’s finally over.
“It’s been a really good week for me – Denmark won and I got a new club.”
Bendtner was a target for criticism during his spell at the Emirates after his modest goal return failed to justify the lofty self-praise delivered by the hitman.
But after bringing an end to his six-year stay with Arsenal, Bendtner believes he can silence the knockers.
He added; “There will always be critics. They have their opinions, make their case and are immediately there as soon as you don’t do so well.
“I’m sure I’ll have to prove to them that I am out of my bad period and everything looks brighter now.
“Hopefully, when I’m playing Premier League football every week with Sunderland, I can prove what the world has been missing for a long time.
“Everything that has happened with Arsenal has been annoying and has affected me personally.
“I haven’t played a lot of games and I have been in a bad place for a whole year.
“I’m not going to promise too much, but I obviously feel that I have more to show.”