Lukas Podolski has revealed he spoke to Arsene Wenger on several occasions during contract negotiations with Arsenal and made clear that the Frenchman’s reputation was a major factor in persuading him to move to England.
Speaking to Arsenal.com on his first visit to the club as a Gunner, Podolski stated:
“Arsenal are a great club and Arsène Wenger has been a very successful coach both in Europe and around the world.
“He speaks several languages, and German in particular, which is very helpful. We have spoken to each other on the telephone a few times, which was very good and also which made my decision even easier.”
The German international, who arrives in London from Cologne for a fee around the £10 millon mark, also confirmed that he had liaised with compatriot Per Mertesacker about life at the Emirates.
“I do speak to Per whenever we meet and we keep in touch on the telephone, too,” he added.
“He has mentioned things about the Club’s organisation, the training ground, the fans and this has really helped. It might have influenced me to a certain extent but in the end, of course, I took the decision myself.
“I have been told that this is a Club with a great tradition and history. It is a Club always among the top four in the Premier League, with a fantastic stadium, fantastic players and great fans. Which just confirmed all the things that I already felt.”
Confirming that Arsenal’s global status played a part, the 26-year-old striker also confirmed that the decision to join the Gunners was swift once an official bid had been lodged with Cologne.
“Arsenal are a great club, here in Europe and all over the world. At the time the transfer negotiations started between the two clubs, the decision was made really quickly.
“I’m now looking forward to the challenge at my new club and cannot wait to start after Euro 2012.
“I had a very good season with Cologne, I played well and as a result I’m now going to Euro 2012 with lots of confidence.
“After that, I will be joining up with my new team-mates at Arsenal and it is my goal just to do my best and be successful there.”
Arseblog News would like to welcome Lukas Podolski to the club and hopes to God he looks as mean in real life as he does in the above picture (which is courtesy of Arsenal.com).