Lukas Podolski could return against Borussia Dortmund next week before starting against Manchester United next weekend.
Podolski published a picture of himself yesterday in full training gear as he made his return to first team training with Arsenal following a bad hamstring injury, which he picked up in the Champions League qualifier against Fenerbahce.
Arsenal have used several combinations of players down the left hand side of their midfield in Podolski’s absence and his return should see him slot straight back into that role.
It’s also a huge boost for Arsene Wenger because Podolski is a forward player who can play through the middle of the attack on his own, providing a much needed option after Olivier Giroud alongside Nicklas Bendtner.
He’s likely to be working hard on his fitness for the rest of the week, with the weekend’s game against Liverpool probably too soon for him to feature in.
However, there is a real opportunity for him to come off the bench against Borussia Dortmund next week and he has extra added incentive to play well in that game.
The last time he squared up against Dortmund was during his days with Cologne, as his previous side were thumped 6-1 and he was the only player booked during the game.
The point of an appearance against Dortmund is to get him some game time, to increase that fitness even further and to get him back into that state of sharpness, which is only possible from minutes in competitive games.
He’s also got bad memories against Manchester United having suffered a 2-1 defeat with Arsenal at Old Trafford last season, before getting dragged off during the 1-1 draw between the teams in North London.
His return to training is a huge positive and Arsenal fans are well within their rights to get carried away about his return to the team.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald