Arsene Wenger reveals why he won't play Podolski as a central striker

Lukas Podolski Germany

Arsene Wenger has revealed why he won't play German international Lukas Podolski as a central striker.

Arsenal boss Lukas Podolski has been an enigma since signing for Arsenal, and only added to it with his two goal show against West Ham.

The German's clinical finishing has never been in doubt however, leading many to question just why he is not played in the central striker's role more frequently, especially with Arsenal short in the position.

Arsene Wenger was asked this very question after the 3-1 win at the Emirates, and revealed why he prefers to play the forward out wide.

He claims that he simply does not see Podolski as a target man due to his desire to move towards the ball, believing him an ill fit for a lone striker role.

Wenger told Arsenal.com: "I played him centre forward a few times and I felt he came a lot to the ball, more like an off-striker than a target striker."

He added: "But he is a fantastic finisher because he has unbelievable power and a very short backlift. So the one you want to have a chance is him."

It's hard to dispute that fact. Giroud may edge the goals per game tally, but that's an advantage of having more opportunities courtesy of playing through the centre.

When it comes to chances, Podolski is twice as deadly, converting 23 per cent of his shots into goals, in comparison to Giroud's 13.8%.

  TeamPosGoals % of total attemptsGoals / appsGoalsMins
Lukas Podolski Arsenal FW 23.08 0.38 6 818
Olivier Giroud Arsenal FW 13.86 0.44 14 2,759

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