After being linked to FC Koln striker Lukas Podolski in January, recent reports have suggested that the German International has agreed personal terms with Arsenal and is waiting on his club to complete negotiations in order to secure a move away. He may have more than a year left on his contract but he has made his concerns regarding the way his hometown club is regulated clear and is widely tipped to make a move to another club at the end of this Bundesliga season. As things stand Arsenal look to be in the driving seat for his signature.
Podolski himself has remained tight-lipped about the situation. When pressured by the media to provide a quote regarding his link to Arsenal, he dodged the issue by suggesting that he had “nothing to say” and asked for the next question. His focus was clearly on making his commitment to Cologne clear – at least until the end of this season:
“I will give all I’ve got to the very end. We have 10 more very tough matches. Every game is a final for us. On Saturday we have an important game against Hertha [Berlin] and we need to win that game at all costs.”
These comments are fair enough, yet Arsenal fans will surely have taken note of the fact that although he didn’t indicate a move was forthcoming, he didn’t rule it out either. Whilst you’d think a generally pessimistic view is sensible, the omens are starting to look good. With this in mind it may be worth considering if Podolski would be a good fit at Arsenal.
The main consideration should be whether the Gunners will have to adapt their system, or whether Podolski will be forced to fit into the system already in place. Arsene Wenger favours a 4-5-1 or 4-3-3 system with Robin Van Persie as the focal point – the position usually taken up by Podolski himself. If Van Persie stays can he really be expected to move out of the position wherein he has been so successful?
Yes, Lukas Podolski can play on the wings, but what’s the point of buying somebody only to play him in a lesser favoured position. The German International will want to come to Arsenal in order to score goals and has the best chance of doing that if he leads the line.
As such, I’d rather see the Gunners adopt a 4-4-1-1 system and play Van Persie in front of the midfield just in behind of Podolski. It’s clear that RVP has the ability to play anywhere and regularly has to come deep in order to pick up the ball as part of a 4-3-3 anyway.
It’d give him more opportunities to pull the strings and release others whilst still offering an opportunity for him to break forward and score goals. Besides, wouldn’t the Bergkamp role be perfect for him?
With the increased goal-threat that Podolski would provide Arsenal would be even more potent going forward than they have been in previous seasons. The flexibility that Podolski would offer makes him the ideal signing. The fact that he’s sure to provide more goals than the likes of Park Chu-Young and Marouane Chamakh make him a damn near essential signing.
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