Date: 10th November 2007 at 4:45pm
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Boss Steve Bruce would love Arsenal’s Nicklas Bendtner to return to Birmingham in January – but doubts the Danish international striker would be available.

The 19-year-old, who impressed while spending last season on-loan with the Blues, has been rumoured to be a January loan target following speculation he wasn’t happy with his lack of action for the Arsenal first-team.

However, while Bruce admitted he believes his team’s attack is not as strong as last season due to Bendtner’s absence, he confessed he doubts Arsene Wenger would allow his player to go back out on loan.

Bruce was quoted by skysports.com as saying: “If you look at us compared to last season then, for me, in a crucial area of the pitch up front, we are not as good as we were last year in the Championship because we are without Nicklas Bendtner

“Strengthening in that area remains a priority and I’ve got to try and identify some people, that’s for sure. But I really don’t think there is any chance of us getting Bendtner back on loan. I really don’t think there is any chance of that happening.

“I don’t think that they would let him out for a start and there has been no conversation with Mr Wenger. It would be on my wish list but it is not going to happen.”

At least the boss admits there is an attacking weakness and hopefully that will translate into some signings in January. While Bendtner may not be available, there are still many loan options out there if that is the route Bruce wants to take.

Though it cannot be denied the Arsenal kid was a top-notch player last season and did enough to show he should be a force to be reckoned with at the highest level in the very near future. And perhaps there is a chance Wenger will decide to sell him.

Sunderland managed to sign teenage star striker Anthony Stokes from Arsenal even though he was very highly rated, so perhaps Steve Bruce is wrong and Bendtner will be allowed back out on loan – if that is beneficial for both the player and his employer.