By Joe Brewin

Lukas Podolski says Per Mertesacker’s glowing recommendation was just one of the reasons why he decided to join Arsenal.

The striker will link up with his new team-mates following Germany’s Euro 2012 campaign this summer, having enjoyed a superb season for FC Cologne in which he scored 18 league goals.

Podolski has revealed Mertesacker’s influence but insists his international colleague merely confirmed what he already knew about the Club.

“I do speak to Per whenever we meet and we keep in touch on the telephone, too," he told Arsenal Player.

“He has mentioned things about the Club’s organisation, the training ground, the fans and this has really helped. It might have influenced me to a certain extent but in the end, of course, I took the decision myself.

“I have been told that this is a Club with a great tradition and history. It is a Club always among the top four in the Premier League, with a fantastic stadium, fantastic players and great fans. Which just confirmed all the things that I already felt.”

While Podolski may have been lured by Arsenal’s impressive pedigree, the striker admits Arsène Wenger’s stellar reputation was also a key factor behind his decision.

“This also played an important part,” said the forward. “Arsenal are a great club and Arsène Wenger has been a very successful coach both in Europe and around the world.

“He speaks several languages, and German in particular, which is very helpful. We have spoken to each other on the telephone a few times, which was very good and also which made my decision even easier.”

Watch the full interview with Lukas on Arsenal Player now and look out for part two later in the week.

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
14 May 2012