Arsenal’s official website has revealed the Gunners have finally secured a deal to bring German international striker Lukas Podolski to the Emirates this summer on a long-term contract for an ‘undisclosed fee’.
The FC Cologne forward will meet up with Wenger’s men most likely after the European Championships where he will be aiming to break the 100 caps mark for Germany, with the 26-year-old already adding 95 caps to his name.
The Polish-born footballer spent his early years with FC Bergheim 2000, before moving to join the FC Cologne youth development setup in 1995 before making his first-team debut in 2003. During the time of his three successful seasons with Cologne he received the call-up to the national side at the young age of 19 and has never looked back after becoming an integral member of the German international side for the 2006 World Cup onwards.
He then took a big step in his career when he decided to switch Cologne for Munich and signed for the Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich in 2006. He spent three seasons that some say were ineffective with Bayern before re-joining FC Cologne in 2009 and has been in scintillating form this season for ‘Die Geißböcke’ scoring an impressive 18 goals in 28 league appearances.
Podolski said on the move:
The move to Arsenal provides a great opportunity for me to gain experience in international competitions at a European top club. I have made this decision not against FC Cologne but for this great opportunity and the good of my own individual development.
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I’m so happy to be joining Arsenal Football Club and to play in the Premier League. Arsenal is one of the top clubs in Europe with a huge history. There are many top quality players at Arsenal and the style of football which the team plays is fantastic.
I’m proud to become an Arsenal player and am looking forward to playing my first match at Emirates Stadium and doing my best for all the Arsenal fans.
Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger is pleased the deal has been agreed so quickly and early on so he can prepare for next season with his new signing rather than having to wait all transfer window to acquire his man. Last summer’s transfer antics affected the Gunners season dramatically with last minute signings/sellings ruining the team dynamic and not allowing time for new players to settle and adapt. But it looks like Wenger may not have to endure such a stressful summer with the Frenchman wrapping up his number one target before the window has even opened!
We are delighted to secure the deal for Lukas and see him as an important part of our future. He is a top-class player, a very good finisher and a proven performer at club and international level. He is a very strong player and will provide us with good attacking options.
We are happy to have made this signing early and we are looking forward to watching Lukas contribute at the European Championship over the summer, a level where he has already made 95 caps at the age of 26. That is a phenomenal record and just shows his quality as a player.
I know I am speaking for many Gooners out there when I say “Thank Goodness”. It’s been a longtime coming with Podolski continually linked to Arsenal but I certainly became slightly apprehensive when nothing official had been announced, the last thing Wenger needed was for the German international to have a great Euro campaign and a host of clubs go knocking for the player. Arsenal’s slow negotiating in the past had done little to settle my nerves, but it is fantastic news that a deal has been reached already prior to the window opening and he will be a fantastic acquisition and a useful asset not only on the pitch next season but the signing signal’s the Gunners intentions to become a title contender next season. The transfer will also help to tie star striker Van Persie down on a new contract as he enters his final year of his current deal.
Podolski can play out wide and obviously upfront as an out-and-out striker so his versatility will be extremely useful. He will be able to push the likes of Gervinho, Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain for a spot on the wings and when Van Persie requires a rest or (touch-wood) sustains an injury, the former Cologne striker can step up and play as Arsenal’s centre-forward.
Exciting times, welcome to Arsenal Podolski!!