The Germany international’s future has been a subject of speculation of late after he was left out of the squad for Saturday’s trip to Everton. While the acquisition of versatile attacker Alexis Sanchez, not to mention the soon-to-return Theo Walcott damaging his chances of regular action in north London.
Juventus and Wolfsburg are credited with an interest, but Wenger has now made it clear that the winger will stay at the Emirates beyond this summer and even suggested that the German could play in tomorrow’s Champions League play-off with Besiktas. He said:
Podolski is in the squad for Wednesday and will stay with us.
Podolski’s agent Ali Pektas has also confirmed that there is no substance to the rumours linking the player with a move to Italy. He said:
I read in the newspapers that Juventus and Napoli were interested in Lukas. But there has been no approach from either of those clubs.
I don’t know if he will go to Italy in this transfer window. I can’t say anything for sure. The only certainty is that Lukas has a contract with Arsenal.
The German attacker signed from Cologne in 2012 and has scored 28 goals in 69 appearances for the Gunners in all competitions. However, he has been unable to nail down a regular place in the first team and has not been able to make a sustained impact. He is a player who has never really consistently shone, although he’s been ruthless in front of goal at times.
With the stiff competition for places in the squad, fitness concerns and a loss of form hampering Podolski, this summer appeared to signal the end of his Arsenal career. However with Olivier Giroud set to miss around three months due to injury, it seems the chances of him staying have greatly increased.
Sanchez and Podolski are the main experienced options currently available to lead the strike force during Giroud’s absence. He has seen most of his minutes in a wide role, but unlike most of his teammates, he has the versatility to fit into a variety of attacking positions without losing too much of his effectiveness.
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He has plenty of experience at the highest level and as a squad player, he still holds a lot of value. The Gunners finally have the depth to compete with the very best and now is not the time to jeopardise that depth.
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