By Rob Kelly

Arsène Wenger believes that the signing of Lukas Podolski will help remove the goalscoring burden from Robin van Persie next season.

The Arsenal manager recently admitted that at times this year his side have been over-reliant on their free-scoring captain.

But Wenger says Podolski - who has scored 43 times in 95 appearances for Germany - will provide high-quality support for the Gunners captain.

“[He was on our radar] for a long time,” he told Arsenal Player. “He is a versatile striker - he can play through the middle, behind the striker, up front, on the left and on the right.

“That's what we like, and he can score goals as well. How many times have we been accused this season of being too reliant on Robin van Persie? He can score goals and provide, and he is the class that we want.

“He can fit with Robin van Persie through the middle or on the sides. That is for sure. That was an important part of the decision making [about signing him].”

Wenger has no concerns about Podolski adapting to life at Arsenal, despite a disappointing spell at Bayern Munich earlier in his career.

“He has gained experience,” he said. “First of all, Bayern are massive in Germany. Maybe he was too young when he went there.

“He has 95 caps for Germany at 26 years of age - you don’t get that if you are not a top-quality player. He had a great World Cup as well, and we have played against him and you can see he is a very intelligent player. That is what attracted us to him, basically.”

Watch the full interview with the boss on Arsenal Player.

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
4 May 2012