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Wenger: Fit-again Podolski key

Arsene Wenger insists Lukas Podolski can help Arsenal cope with the recent spate of injuries to a number of the club's forward players.

Last Updated: 11/01/14 at 14:20 Post Comment

Lukas Podolski: Making his way back from torn hamstring

Lukas Podolski: Making his way back from torn hamstring

With Theo Walcott out for the remainder of the season with a knee injury and Danish striker Nicklas Bendtner currently sidelined by an ankle injury, Arsenal have little cover for Frenchman Olivier Giroud.

But Wenger says Podolski, who is edging his way back to peak fitness after four months out with a torn hamstring, can help relieve Giroud of the attacking burden when he is firing on all cylinders.

"Podolski has been out for four months and after being available, it doesn't mean you are competitive in the Premier League - it takes some time to come back," said Wenger.

"He is working hard. This week he looked sharper in training, so he is getting closer now to being completely fit again.

"If there is one (player) you want to see in front of the goal in a shooting position, it is him because Podolski is certainly one of the best finishers I have ever seen.

"He can play that central role when he is completely fit and is one of the potential assets we have there.

"When he is physically ready, he will of course help us."

Giroud has been rested for the Arsenal's last two matches although he is expected to return for the visit to Aston Villa on Monday night.

Wenger feels there is still more to come from Giroud and insisted that other players in the team can help relieve the 6ft 4in frontman of the goalscoring burden for the club.

"Giroud needed a rest physically and he got one, and I am convinced he will come back refreshed and ready to score again," said Wenger.

"What is most important, for Olivier Giroud and for me, is the team produces a good collective performance.

"[Whether] he scores or somebody else, we have plenty of people who can score and for me it is always most important that we play the football we want to play, and after anybody can score in my team."

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may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

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ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

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