By Chris Harris

Arsène Wenger expects Lukas Podolski to thrive in the Premier League - once he adapts to his new role.

The Germany international arrived at Emirates Stadium this summer with a wealth of experience and a prolific scoring record, but he found opportunities hard to come by during his Arsenal debut.

Podolski’s hard work was in vain as a resolute Sunderland defence kept him quiet, but the 27-year-old received a vote of confidence from his new manager after the 0-0 draw.

"I see him as a centre forward but he has some work to do, to change his game a little bit, make runs in behind to protect the ball and move around the box," said Wenger.

"When you come from a wide position, it is not easy to do that. But he will get there. He is a fantastic finisher, but had no real opportunity [against Sunderland].

"I will have to watch the game again and see what he did when we had the ball. I will have to study it."

Podolski was replaced by Olivier Giroud after 63 minutes on Saturday and Wenger is confident that his new strike pair will fill the void left by Robin van Persie's departure - and the 37 goals he scored last season.

"You cannot conclude on one game, but we knew before we started [that it would be difficult to replace Van Persie's goals]," he said.

"Podolski and Giroud together scored 40 last year, so we have a credit of three, but unfortunately it does not work like that.

"Overall I am happy with the spirit we have shown, but the frustration is that we are used to more creativity. That was the big miss."

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19 Aug 2012