One of the worst-kept secrets in football was finally confirmed today as Arsenal announced the signing of Cologne striker Lukas Podolski.
The Gunners have long been linked with a move for the Germany international and now appear to have officially got their man, with the 26-year-old set to make the switch to the Emirates in the summer.
It remains to be seen how Podolski – who will move for an undisclosed fee thought to be in the region of £11 million – will fit into boss Arsene Wenger’s plans for next season.
However, the Frenchman revealed his happiness about his latest capture, who can play as a main striker or on the left of a front three.
“We are delighted to secure the deal for Lukas and see him as an important part of our future,” said Wenger.
With Gunners fans eagerly anticipating seeing the new man strutting his stuff – whether it be alongside skipper Robin van Persie or not – the question of how he will perform in England is an intriguing one.
Podolski has scored an impressive 43 goals in his 95 appearances for Germany and has fired 18 Bundesliga strikes in 27 starts this term for Cologne, who are firmly entrenched in a relegation battle.
The Polish-born hitman has not always been so prolific, particularly during his time at Bayern Munich, when his scoring ratio was only at one goal every four matches.
However, with Arsenal not exactly short of firepower with which to surround Podolski, it would be no surprise to see him follow the lead of Newcastle’s Papiss Cisse in making an instant impact after a move from a German team.
We’ve marked the signing by pricing up a market on Podolski already – he can be backed at 17/20 to score 16 or more league goals in his debut season, or at the same price to bag less than 16 (see the market here).
Punters joining bwin.com receive a free £25 bet and placing this on Podolski to notch 16 or more Premier League goals in 2012/13 would return £46.25 if the front man smashes through this barrier.
One thing is for sure, though: Arsenal fans will be praying that his arrival is the first of many this summer as Wenger bids to demonstrate the club’s ambition and convince Van Persie to sign a new contract.
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