Arsene Wenger: Lukas Podolski had a dip in the middle of the season

Arsene Wenger says Lukas Podolski struggled to find top gear for Arsenal in the middle part of the season

lukas podolski
Lukas Podolski has scored 14 goals in his first season at Arsenal Photo: Football.ua, via Wikimedia

Arsene Wenger says Lukas Podolski struggled to find top gear for Arsenal in the middle part of the season but is backing the striker to finish the campaign on a high.

The Germany international, who joined the Gunners from Cologne last summer, has scored 14 goals in all competitions for the north Londoners this term.

The 27-year-old has often been substituted in games and Wenger believes that the forward has taken some time to adapt to the rigours of the Premier League.

“He had a good start [to the season], a very strong start,” Wenger told a news conference. “After that, he suffered a little bit physically and mentally because in Germany they have a break in mid-season.

“We have seen with many German players that when they come in for the first season, mentally they suffer a little bit. Now he has recovered and is getting stronger again.

“On the flanks is the most demanding position. Physically, especially in England, it’s very tough.

“He’s a striker. Many times we were in a position where we were in a winning position in the final 20 minutes and then I take a bit more of a guarantee defensively and take him out of the team sometimes.”

Arsenal can move into fourth place in the Premier League table if they beat Wigan Athletic at home on Tuesday night.

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