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Woodcock predicts Podolski success

Former Arsenal and Cologne striker Tony Woodcock backed Lukas Podolski to ‘make a big impact’ after his move to the Emirates was confirmed.

Cologne announced on Monday that Germany forward Podolski will join Arsenal from next season in a deal believed to be worth 11 million pounds.

Woodcock, who had two stints at Cologne and a spell at Arsenal in the 1980s, is confident Podolski has the ability and experience to prosper upon his arrival in London.

“Lukas is a very, very good player and I am sure that he will be a success at Arsenal so the fans should be very excited at the prospect of him joining their club,” Woodcock told Goal.com.

“I am certain that he will do very well in the Premier League because of the timing. This is the perfect time for Lukas to be making the switch from German to English football and it is a great move for the club and for the player himself.

“He is only 26 but he has plenty of experience from his time with Cologne, Bayern Munich and with the German national side and this is the right time for him to go to Arsenal and the right place.”

Podolski graduated from Cologne’s youth academy in 2003 and made his debut for the national team as a fresh-faced 19-year-old in 2005 before joining Bayern Munich the following year.

The striker returned to Cologne in 2009 and has netted 43 goals from his 95 international appearances.

“Not only does Lukas have the ability and the experience to make a big impact in English football but he is physically robust and very quick and that will help him a lot but he also has an amazing left foot on him as well,” Woodcock said.

“His goal scoring record is tremendous for club and country and what is so exciting about this move is that he has surely not peaked yet and that is great news for Arsenal when you are looking ahead.

“He has been at Cologne almost all his career, since he was a boy, and while things might not have worked out for him at Bayern Munich when he went there, the experience should stand him in good stead for life at Arsenal and the new challenges that playing in a foreign land create.

“I am sure that he will love working under Arsene Wenger and he will be ready for a new challenge.”

Robin van Persie has shouldered much of the workload for Arsenal upfront this season and Woodcock is adamant Podolski will be a welcomed partner for the Dutchman should he extend his stay at the Emirates.

“Lukas is good inside and outside the penalty area and will give them a lot of penetration in the attacking department and everyone who saw him play for Germany against England will know that,” he said.

“On top of that they will be getting a player who is left-footed and that is always welcome because it means that Lukas will bring balance to the team as well as more attacking bite.

“He has all the qualities that you need to be a successful striker. The big question will be where Arsenal play him. He can play down the left or down the middle but wherever he plays I am sure he will do well and he will fit in nicely wherever Arsene Wenger decides to play him.

“I am certain that he will enjoy being at Arsenal because it is a wonderful club. They might not have won a trophy for a while buy they really are not too far off at the moment. They are third in the league and with signings like Lukas Podolski they will be even stronger next season.

“I am not sure if it will make any difference to whether Robin van Persie decides to extend his contract this summer and the talks between the club and the player will continue in private. But I sincerely hope he stays.”

Tue 1 May, 2012
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