Lukas Podolski is more important to Arsenal than Vermaelen

There are reports that German striker Lukas Podolski is growing more disillusioned with the Gunners.

Arsene Wenger always had a difficult job on his hands this season with three strikers in Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott who all want to lead the Arsenal attack.

That’s led Wenger into using them all in different ways and the latest reports suggest Podolski could push for a move away from the Gunners this summer, as he’s not being used in the role or way he expected at the club.

That is something Arsenal must not allow to happen because the club could struggle to attract a replacement with similar levels of quality and experience should Arsenal fail to finish in the top four.

It’ll be much more difficult to compensate for him than simply going out into the market, finding someone and paying a fee because Podolski is a top quality, top level player who most big clubs would be happy to have in their sides.

It’s arguably more important in the short term for the club to hang onto him rather than any of the defenders who have been linked with big money moves to Spain; Thomas Vermaelen and Laurent Koscielny to name just two.

Podolski’s stats this season have not been prolific but they have been solid for a striker playing out on the left, when he’s more effective through the middle; nine goals and nine assists in 27 matches.

One of the main reasons Arsenal must keep him is because of his age and relative experience. At 27-years-old, he’s not ancient but he is one of the more experienced players in the current squad.

It’s essential Arsenal hang onto him for the development of the younger players in the team, who will benefit from playing with and being around a player of his quality on a daily basis.

He’s the perfect sort of player for what Wenger seems to be trying to develop at the club and for the philosophy he has always used as manager; he’s got good pace, he’s good in possession, links up with other areas of the team well and can spot a pass.

He also has the quality and the ability to become the idealistic striker at the club, should Arsenal pick up an injury in that area of the team.

It seems the only way he’s going to get a full run at playing centre forward for the side is if someone else gets injured. If Giroud is injured and can’t play there, Podolski is more of a sure bet than Walcott.

However, that’s hypothetical and even then it relies on the German to start banging in a Lionel Messi sort of strike rate which means Wenger has no other choice but to keep him there.

Arsenal simply need to invest more time in him and give him more of a chance because if they go out and get another striker this summer, that act could force Podolski into going the other way and he’s done nothing wrong so far in his Arsenal career.

Should the club keep him?

image: © sdhansay

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