Following months of speculation, Arsenal are set to announce the signing of German International star Lukas Podolski. Here, I analyse the hit man’s strengths and weaknesses, how he will fit in at Arsenal, and his career so far.
It is the sort of transfer Arsenal fans have been craving for a long time, a big name, a striker who can hold his own in the big time, and someone who can come in and have an instant impact. Well renowned for his clinical finishing in front of goal, Lukas Podolski has an impressive 43 goal tally for his national side Germany.
Despite being aged 26, Lukas has been on the scene since 2003, where he made his professional debut for FC. Koln aged just 18. Podolski enjoyed three successful years at Koln, scoring 46 times in 81 appearances. Following Koln’s relegation, Lukas left the club in 2006, and joined German giants Bayern Munich for a figure believed to be around 10 million Euros. However, the big money move proved to be a disappointment. Lukas scored just 15 goals in 71 games during his three year tenure at Bayern.
In 2009 Podolski moved back to F.C Koln. After an injury plagued first season in which he managed just three goals. He finally managed to regain some of the potential he had shown prior to his move to Bayern Munich at the start of the 2010-2011 campaign. That campaign saw the German score 13 goals and was credited with seven assists in a struggling FC. Koln outfit.
Similar to current Arsenal talisman Robin Van Persie, Lukas Podolski is the main man at his underperforming FC. Koln, who are in a much worse position to third place Arsenal, as Koln look to be heading for another relegation battle and currently stand two points above the drop zone. This season Lukas Podolski has scored 17 goals for FC. Koln in the Bundesliga, in just 22 League games.
The German International is now preparing himself for his long awaited move to the Premier League, after he rejected offers from English giants Manchester United, and Liverpool. Podolski is expected to be confirmed an Arsenal player in the coming weeks. A figure believed to be around 13 million has been agreed between Arsenal and FC. Koln, and the deal includes Arsenal playing FC Koln in their next two pre-season warm up games (the Gunners struck a similar deal with Legia Warsaw when they snapped up Polish International goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny back in 2006).
Arsene Wenger is now faced with the dilemma of where to play Lukas Podolski for Arsenal. Robin Van Persie has been a sensation in recent seasons playing as the spearhead of a 4-3-3 formation, and whether Wenger is willing to change his team structure to accommodate Lukas Podolski remains open to question. Lukas can play on the left, up top, on the right, or just behind the striker in a Dennis Bergkamp type role.
Many names are linked with many clubs every year, some more realistic than others. However, this deal looks to be a near certainty, and could prove to be another fine signing by Arsenal’s Le Professor, Arsene Wenger. Names such as Lewis Holtby, David ‘Junior’ Hoilett, Jan Vertonghen and Matais Suarez are all also rumoured to be transfer targets for Arsene Wenger.