By Nick Ames in Kharkiv
Per Mertesacker has praised Lukas Podolski’s performance for Germany against the Netherlands and assures Arsenal fans that the forward has plenty more to offer.
Podolski, who will officially join the Gunners at the end of the month, spent much of the match helping to combat the threat of Arjen Robben down Germany’s left side. He stuck to his task manfully, but Mertesacker expects him to showcase his more familiar attacking spark when he arrives at Emirates Stadium.
“Defensively it was a great game from Lukas,” he told Arsenal.com after his side’s 2-1 win.
“He had to cover for Philippe Lahm, with Arjen Robben on his flank, and he did it very well. Especially in the first half, he covered him all the time and it was two against one on Robben.
“I think that was more important than his attacking qualities today. But every Arsenal fan will soon see what he can do offensively.”
Another Arsenal forward had better fortune in front of goal, only to leave the Metalist Stadium disappointed. Robin van Persie cracked home a fine consolation goal for the Dutch, and before the match he and Mertesacker could be seen sharing an embrace and a chat on the sidelines.
“The goal wasn’t enough for Holland, and that’s good for us,” said Per.
“But our relationship is very good, very respectful, and it was nice to see him – we had a good conversation. He’s fit and I’m going to be 100 per cent soon, so it will be great to join up again for pre-season at Arsenal.”