Lukasz Podolski and FC Cologne have confirmed that he will be an Arsenal player next season. Using his Facebook page, in a statement released jointly on the Cologne website, the German international said:
“Hi folks, from next season I will play Arsenal FC. This change gives me the opportunity to play at international level in a top European club. This is a great opportunity in my sporting career.
“The decision for this step is not easy for me because the FC Köln, the city and the fans are very special for me. I’ll always carry FC in my heart. We must now concentrate all the forces together and focus exclusively on the league. Regards, Poldi.”
For their part, the German club confirmed the deal, done a year before his contract was due to expire, but have said that the transfer fee is ‘confidential’.
Podolski has played 95 times for Germany, scoring 43 goals, and his signing represents something of a change in tactic from Arsenal who have usually taken their time over deals, especially in the summer.
Signing an experienced international before the season has even ended might well suggest that the lessons of last summer have been learned, and on a day when Arsene Wenger has admitted his side are over-reliant on the goals of Robin van Persie, the German will provide another dimension to our attack.
Arsenal fans will be hoping that Podolski will augment, rather than replace, van Persie but let’s hope that good results in the final two games and this ‘statement of intent’ from the club will all help make up the skipper’s mind.
Welcome to The Arsenal, Lukas.