Arsenal’s Nicklas Bendtner is back in the Danish squad for the World Cup qualifiers versus Italy and Malta after completing his six-month suspension. Bendtner, who came on as a second-half substitute for Arsenal against West Brom in the English Premier League on Sunday, has not represented Denmark since the team’s friendly against Turkey in November last year.
Since then, the controversial striker has received more negative press than good. A Copenhagen court convicted him of drink-driving in March which led to him being suspended from the national team for six months.
He also went to Italian Serie A club Juventus on loan, but following an unsuccessful period returned to Arsenal to an uncertain future. After a number of moves away from the London club failed to materialise in the summer, the striker was resigned to fighting for a first-team place with the Gunners.
The Danish football association said that since Bendtner returned from injury, he clarified his situation with Arsenal and spoke on several occasions with Danish coach Morten Olsen about football and his off-the-field life. It added that Olsen felt it was the right time to recall the striker.
Denmark sit third in Group B with two games to play. The Danes are on 12 points, while Bulgaria are in second with 13 points. However, with both games to be played at home in the Parken stadium, Olsen will be optimistic that maximum points can be achieved and his team can claim the all-important second place that would ensure a play-off spot.