By Yemi Adebowale
Arsenal striker Lukas Podolski has hinted he will probably have to leave Arsenal in order to play regular football. The striker came close to leaving the Gunners before the transfer window shut but ended up staying after boss Arsene Wenger convinced the German he was needed.
The 29-year-old has only started in the League Cup defeat to Southampton since the new season began, with the likes of Danny Welbeck and Alexis Sanchez preferred up-front. And with Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott still to come back into the fold, Podolski’s situation is only likely to get worse.
“I am a footballer through and through, I am a street footballer and I love competition,” Podolski said.
“And when I don’t have that competition every weekend, there has to be a change. We will see about (a possible transfer in January). But I have to at least give it a thought.”
Referring to the national team, he added: “I have been with Germany a long time and have through phases where I did not play a lot at club level but was convincing with the national team. That is no problem.”
Meanwhile, German defender Mertesacker – who led the side against Galatasaray and will do again at the weekend with skipper Mikel Arteta sidelined by a calf problem – maintains this time around, things will be different when the gunners take on Chelsea in a London derby this weekend.
“Obviously (it is a) good lift (before the Chelsea game). We have got good confidence at the moment and will try to implement that into the game on Sunday,” Mertesacker told Arsenal Player.
“We know we can do better than the two consecutive seasons (at Chelsea) before and I think we will try new things on Sunday to get a better result than last year.”
On Danny Welbeck, “He is the main threat at the moment, especially on the counter-attack,” said Mertesacker of the 23-year-old, who along with Gibbs, midfielder Jack Wilshere and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have been named in the England squad for the upcoming Euro 2016 qualifiers.
“We have players who can put him in the right situations and that is what we need to find ourselves.
“It took a bit of time, but I think now we are on (the) spot and we see what it takes to be a team and to be fully integrated.”