Arsene Wenger has once again moved to reiterate that German forward Lukas Podolski will not be leaving Arsenal in January.
Reportedly growing increasingly frustrated at his bit-part role at the Emirates that’s seen him amass just 37 minutes of league football, the 29-year-old has been linked with moves all over Europe in recent months.
But the Gunners – 20/1 to win the Premier League – can’t afford to do without the World Cup winner, who is definitely underappreciated in north London.
If Wenger truly doesn’t want to lose Podolski, it’d make sense to give him some game time, with these arguments stating why he warrants greater recognition within the Arsenal ranks.
When placed into context, his scoring record is excellent.
Podolski was afforded a paltry 14 Premier League starts last term, yet he still plundered eight goals, as well as laying on two assists.
The season before that – the notoriously daunting first for foreign players on English shores – he bagged 11 in 25 starts, setting up a further nine.
Taking into consideration that the bulk of the matches in which he does feature he’s deployed in a wide left position that is not one in which he would wish to play, this ranks as a respectable return.
During his two spells with first club Koln, Podolski notched a total of 79 goals in 169 Bundesliga appearances (almost one in two), proving that, when afforded the trust of the manager and a fair opportunity, he can mix it with the best in the goalscoring stakes.
He offers an additional direct dimension that adds variation to Arsenal’s game.
With his jackhammer of a left foot, Podolski is always looking to fire a shot off.
While it is frustrating to see the ball consistently flying into the crowd, the 119-cap Die Mannschaft man’s over zealousness may be borne out of an eagerness to please, especially as he’s only afforded scarcely any time on the pitch.
If harnessed correctly, his see goal-blast ball approach could pay dividends for the Gunners, whose constant recycling of possession in midfield and favouring of lightweight, creative attacking midfielders behind a solo striker is all too often easily managed by foes.