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Bendtner set for shock return from injury to ease Arsenal striker crisis

| 09.01.2014

Nicklas Bendtner is set to give Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger a timely boost after reports suggested he has recovered quicker than expected from an ankle injury.

The Denmark international, who was expected to be sidelined for four to six weeks, suffered the knock when scoring the winner for the Gunners in their 2-0 victory over Cardiff on New Year’s Day.

But, according to reports in the Metro, the Copenhagen-born star is days away from rejoining training.

And with doubts surrounding Olivier Giroud’s fitness and England international Theo Walcott ruled out for the rest of the season, news of the 25-year-old striker’s reported return is set to delight Wenger.

Arsenal, who are 4/1 with Ladbrokes to win their first title since the 2003/04 campaign, have enjoyed a blistering start to the season and are sitting pretty at the top of the Premier League table after 20 games.

The Gunners’ title chances took a huge dent with news of Walcott’s season-ending injury and with Bendtner also out on the sidelines, the north London club were frantically searching for attacking reinforcements in the January transfer window.

Dimitar Berbatov, Jackson Martinez, Alvaro Morata and Diego Costa have all been linked with big money moves to the Emirates Stadium.

But with the Danish forward closing in on a shock return and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain back in training, Wenger, whose side are 9/2 for FA Cup glory after their north London derby win, could call off the transfer hunt until the summer.

Giroud, who has fired 11 goals so far this season, is set to return to the Arsenal team for their trip to struggling Aston Villa.

But with crucial fixtures against Coventry in the FA Cup later this month and daunting clashes with Bayern Munich, Liverpool and Manchester United on the horizon, the north London club will be hoping Bendtner can provide some much needed support to his strike partner.

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Oliver Yew