Podolski comments on Welbeck signing: 'It's a difficult situation for me'

Lukas Podolski Pre FA Cup Press Conference

Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski admits the £16 million arrival of Danny Welbeck from Manchester United is a blow to his chances of sealing a spot in the starting XI.

Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski openly admits that new signing Danny Welbeck has the edge over him in the battle to lead the line for Arsene Wenger’s side.

Welbeck signed from Manchester United in a £16 million deadline-day move, after Olivier Giroud suffered a foot injury which is set to keep him sidelined until the start of 2015.

Podolski’s future, meanwhile, has been the subject of much speculation over the summer and, though the German World Cup-winner believes he’s a perfect fit in Wenger’s lineup, he also concedes that his fellow front man’s high profile arrival puts him at a clear disadvantage.

‘Initially, it's a difficult situation for me,’ he told Kicker.

‘When you buy new players for a lot of money, they have an advantage because they will play.

‘But we've got a long season ahead of us and we'll see what happens. When I am in top shape, I am a perfect fit for the Arsenal team and I see myself in the first XI. That's what I work towards.

‘I am not sure [but] I hope that that's the case.’

Podolski, 29, was widely rumoured to be on his way out of the Emirates during the closing stages of the transfer window, with the likes of the likes of Galatasaray, Juventus, Napoli, Olympiakos, Wolfsburg and even MLS clubs linked to his services.

However, while the former Bayern Munich man confirmed that approaches were made, he stressed that a move elsewhere was never an option.

‘There were some enquiries from abroad, and also from the Bundesliga,’ he said. ‘But as a Cologne guy, it would have been difficult to play for another club in Germany. To go to Russia - Walachia [a German expression for the middle of nowhere] - or the United States was in no way an alternative for me.

‘I had a chat with Arsene Wenger, during which he told me that he is banking on my firepower and assists, and wants to keep me. That's why the issue of a transfer was rather secondary to me. I feel great in London and at Arsenal, and it continues to stay like that.’

Welbeck is widely expected to make his Arsenal debut against Manchester City on Saturday, while it remains to be seen how much of a role Podolski will play in the team going forward.

Having scored 12 times in 27 appearances for Arsenal last season, he remains a useful option for Wenger to have, despite his part injuries issues, but first-team minutes might prove hard to come by in the future.

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