Lukas Podolski Profile
June 04, 1985
||Cologne, Bayern Munich, Cologne
German forward Lukas Podolski enjoyed a highly productive first season in north London.
Generally playing on the left of an attacking three, with occasional appearances through the middle, the attacker was a consistent presence on the goalscoring charts, finding the net 16 times. He got off to a flyer with a fine opening goal at Anfield on September 2, bettering it a few weeks later when he thundered home a free kick against Southampton.
Several more spectacular strikes followed, notably a stunning volley against Montpellier – later named Arsenal’s Goal of the Season – and a long-range thunderbolt against West Ham in a match that also saw him claim three assists. Other highlights included a goal in the 5-2 win over Tottenham Hotspur and a fine strike in the 3-1 comeback victory against Norwich.
Full of hard running and enthusiasm to complement his venomous left foot, Lukas quickly became a favourite on and off the pitch after joining from Cologne in the summer of 2012. He had spent two spells there, emerging from the youth system to score 51 goals in 85 games before leaving for Bayern Munich. After three years at the Allianz Arena, he returned to Cologne in 2009 and finished his second stint with 35 goals from 95 games.
A mainstay of Germany’s national team, he has appeared in three European Championships and two World Cups, and passed the 100-cap mark during Euro 2012, aged 27 – the youngest-ever European to do so.
Lukas Podolski's Arsenal Career
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Two fine finishes in the 3-1 win away to Fulham helped Lukas kick-start the Gunners' league campaign.
"He has a lethal left foot and he proved that today," said Aaron Ramsey after the Fulham game. "The power and accuracy he has with his shooting is second to none."
However, the German striker suffered a hamstring injury late on in the home game against Fenerbache that will keep him out for over two months.
A hamstring injury kept Lukas out of action for the whole of September.
A hamstring injury kept Lukas out of action for the whole of October.
A hamstring injury kept Lukas out of action for the whole of November.
Lukas returned to action after three months on the sidelines and made an instant impact with Arsenal's third goal against West Ham after providing the cross for Theo Walcott to score his second.
"I have been out for a long time, four months, so it was not easy," he said. "I have never had a muscle injury before so it was a new experience. It was a hamstring injury and they take a long time [to recover from]. It was important we got the three point because the last few matches we drew or lost and you’re always happy when you get an assist or score a goal."
Jack was restricted to four appearances in December after the midfielder was banned for two games. But the England international returned for the Newcastle game to put in an accomplished display to help the Gunners to a 1-0 win.
Lukas featured four times for the first team in January with two starts and two appearances from the substitutes bench. The German forward struck a brace in the 4-0 win over Coventry and said afterwards that he is close to finding his best form after being sidelined for four months with a hamstring injury.
"It was a long time for me because I never had a long injury before," he told Arsenal Player. "You are always happy when you play and score goals for the team so it was good for me, good for the team and important to be in the next round."
Lukas took his goal tally to six for the season when he scored the decisive second goal in the FA Cup victory against Liverpool.
Lukas was restricted to just two starts and one appearance from the bench during February but the German forward's morale remained high.
"The team spirit is always good here, even after defeats," he told Arsenal.com. "This is a great team - there’s a good atmosphere between us and up until now, we’ve had a super season. We need to keep that with us now.
"I’ve been at a few clubs and in different dressing rooms but I’ve never been in a team with such a strong spirit. You feel comfortable here - be it on the pitch or off it. You always look forward to being with the team and I think that helps us in matches."
Lukas scored twice against former club Cologne in pre-season and started both of Arsenal's Premier League matches against Sunderland and Stoke. “You have seen that he has a good technique and he is good in possession," said team-mate Per Mertesacker. "We have the players who can pass him the ball. He is a good finisher too and we will see that in a couple of weeks."
Lukas announced himself as an Arsenal player with three goals in three games. After opening his account for the Club against Liverpool, Podolski curled home a sumptuous free kick against Southampton, and also netted against Montpellier in the Champions League. The German praised fellow summer signing Santi Cazorla after the win against Liverpool, saying: "“We play [well] together and you could see it here - he passed for me for the first goal, I passed to him for the second goal."
Lukas started the month well, scoring against Olympiacos in the Champions League. He set up Olivier Giroud’s goal against West Ham and made five appearances during the month.
Lukas enjoyed a successful November, scoring in three successive games. The striker netted in his first north London derby, and also hit the target against Fulham and Montpellier - the latter earning him the Goal of the Month award.
Lukas missed only the Champions League defeat at Olympiacos during December. The forward scored Arsenal’s opener in the 5-2 win at Reading and also found the net with a close-range header in the convincing 7-3 home win over Newcastle.
Lukas appeared in six games and scored two goals during January, including a fierce drive from 25 yards against West Ham United. The German was in fine form against the Hammers, also setting up three goals for his team-mates, and was subsequently named man of the match.
Commenting on the forward’s goal against West Ham, Arsene Wenger said: “He has a fantastic left foot - you saw that on his goal. The quality of his crosses is absolutely immaculate and when you play in the middle, you want people who can cross like him.”
Lukas featured largely from the bench in February. He came on as a late substitute to score the winner at home to Stoke City at the start of the month, before also finding the net against former club Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
“When you lose the match and Bayern score three goals at the Emirates, it’s very difficult,” the striker said of his former club. “But we have a chance and we will fight for this.”
Lukas featured twice in March, coming off the bench on both occasions. The forward came on after 77 minutes against Tottenham Hotspur, before playing the final 20 minutes against Reading at the Emirates.
Lukas made four appearances and scored once during April. The Germany international came off the bench to seal the win against Norwich City and started his only game of the month in the centre forward position against Manchester United.
With Olivier Giroud suspended for the first two matches in May, Lukas started the final three games of the season in the centre forward position. The German's best moments of the month came when he netted a brace in the 4-1 win against Wigan Athletic at the Emirates.