David Gold has reaffirmed Birmingham City's desire to sign Nicklas Bendtner and says that the Denmark international striker is "a better goalscorer than Christophe Dugarry".
Bendtner, aged 18, has been a revelation since joining Birmingham on loan from Arsenal in August. He will remain at St Andrew's until the end of the season but Gold, the Birmingham chairman, is looking at ways to keep the player on a permanent basis.
Providing him with regular first-team football has helped, as would gaining promotion to the Premiership.
Dugarry, the France international striker, made a name for himself with Birmingham towards the end of the 2002-03 season and remains arguably the most talented player in the club's history.
And, while Gold sees similarities between the two strikers, he clearly regards Bendtner as a more effective player.
"I have to say he [Bendtner] is a quality player and we do everything we can to keep quality players," Gold said. "If there is a route forward to do that, I would be delighted.
"Do I see a young Dugarry? Yes, I suppose I do, in a way. We saw Dugarry at the end of his career but we did get flashes of his skills. I think Bendtner is a better goalscorer than Dugarry.
"Nicklas is young, 18, still got lots to learn but he looks very promising. Any hopes depend on us being promoted. You have to be realistic. This young man wants to play in the Premiership. At the same time, he is a player that wants to play.
"He gets upset when he is subbed or left out. He really wants to play. That's a great joy to see that in a player, the 'I want to play and I don't care if I have got a niggle and I don't care if I've had two games this week already'.
"What I am alluding to is I can't see him enjoying being in the reserves at Arsenal. That is the one thing that just might pull it off, if we can get into the Premiership and the alternative is for him to be on the fringe of Arsenal. Then we may be able to persuade him to come and play for us."
The problem for Birmingham is that Arsenal are aware of Bendtner's potential, even if they do not necessarily see him as a regular first-team player.
Bendtner has already said he does not want to return to reserve-team football, which gives hope to Birmingham, who would treat the player as the superstar he is sure to become.
"For us, he would become the main man but he is Arsenal's player and it is their decision," Gold said. "I am optimstic and I believe we will be in the Premiership next season."
If Birmingham do gain promotion, that will provide the club with extra bargaining power when they ask Arsenal about Bendtner's permanent availability.
If Birmingham do not secure promotion, it is hard to see Bendtner remaining at St Andrew's for another season on loan but auguries are good. Birmingham, who play away to Southend United tomorrow, go into the second half of the season three points clear at the top and in the form of their season.
"I would have settled in August for being top at the halfway point," Gold said. "It took a bit of time for the team to knit together and we had our little hiccup. We seemed to have settled down now and we are also getting a bit of the rub of the green which I think is important in anything.
"When things go against you, that feelgood factor goes. Confidence plays a big part and we have got some very good players. You talk about Bendtner but you have also got to talk about Gary McSheffrey. What a player he is and having Matthew Upson back also gives us that bit of class."
Upson, the Birmingham defender, has been linked with a move to any one of nine Premiership clubs. It is all speculation, of course, but Gold says that Birmingham's position at the top is helpful when they ask Upson to sign a new contract.
Upson's current deal ends at the end of next season. "Everyone is watching and there is nothing we can do," Gold said. "We just sit back and, in a way, we would like to keep Matthew and say to him 'we're top of the table, why don't you stay and stick it out because we are going back to the Premiership?'
"In the summer, we could then look again and say 'we're in the Premiership, that's where you want to be and we want to be'."
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