‘I’d like to play with Van Persie, but I can replace him if he leaves’ – Podolski

by ‘Ifreke Inyang

Arsenal’s new boy, Lukas Podolski, says he would love to play alongside wantaway striker, Robin van Persie at the Emirates. He however admits that the possibility doesn’t lie in his hands.

“All I can say is Van Persie had an amazing record last season and hopefully there is a way he can stay with Arsenal. It would be great to play with him, but obviously this is not in my control,” he said in an interview with ESPN.

The German international, who sealed his move before the start of the European Championships, suggested he could actually replace the Dutchman, if he eventually leaves.

“I can play up front on my own, as a second striker or push forward on the left side of midfield.

“So long as I am playing with adventure, get into position to score goals and give my all to the team then I can be satisfied.

“That’s why I’m pleased to hear people suggest my defensive work has improved over the years. I have worked hard on this area of my game.”

Podolski also slammed the critics of his new manager, Arsene Wenger, who came under more pressure than ever before last season.

“He has a record getting Arsenal into the Champions League every season and his reputation in Germany and all over Europe is very strong.

“What I like about him is his passion for attacking football. He aims to play with style and flair all the time. Those are his principles and he’ll never compromise on them.

“Some people are disappointed with him, but they need to realise what a great coach they have.

“Mr Wenger could have moved on to another club, I am sure, but instead chose to stay and build something over the long-term.

“He lives and dies by his own ideas and Arsenal is his baby. His reputation has been built on improving players and if he can help me take my game up a notch or two I’ll be delighted.

“Back home in Germany, football people think very highly of Arsene Wenger. They listen to what he has to say and admire his achievements.”

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