Podolski Capture: Arsenal’s Signal Of Intent
Today we take a break from the loanee series for some thoughts on Prinz Poldi’s arrival in the summer.
The excitement continues unabated around Goonersphere and quite a lot has been written about the German international’s talents already. So instead of rehashing the stories, I would like to point you to a couple that I found to be good reads.
There’s talkSPORT’s comparison with Jurgen Klinsmann’s time at Spuds, while a FC Koln supporter gives his perspective on the German at Arsenal Vision. I also liked this You Tube compilation of the striker’s goals by SchalkesPukki04.
I am convinced Podolski has the tools to be successful at Arsenal. And at 26, he’s just entering a period many consider to be a striker’s best years. He is deadly on the counter attack, a quality essential for a Gunners forward and should provide more attacking potency on the left wing when breaking.
Of course, there was his time with Bayern which didn’t work out the way it was anticipated. Being a star performer in a poor team is markedly dissimilar to being a team player at a top club where you’re expected to work hard week-in week-out. Andrey Arshavin is a classic example of a super-talent who failed to make that transition.
The fact that Lukas is older and more mature now should help him deal with this change better. His desire to play for Arsenal also counts in his favour and it does look like it’s going to be a successful marriage. I can’t wait for him to start playing in an Arsenal shirt and see how he gels into the team.
On a lighter note, Dave Seager’s Podolski post yesterday points readers to the quite wonderful Goldi Poldi Hallelujah song. If you haven’t heard it already, it’s very catchy and definitely worth a listen. How long before it’s being sung from the stands at the Emirates? Not long, we hope.
In more transfer news, there are reports suggesting we have opened talks with Ajax over a move for Jan Vertonghen. The fact that the club managed to conclude a high-profile striker signing as early as April gives Arsenal fans reason to believe other arrivals are being looked at as well.
Personally I think Vertonghen is just the kind of versatile player Arsene Wenger likes. He will not only shore up the defense but also provide options in midfield. If you haven’t already, do read an article I did four weeks ago on how the Belgian defender can be beneficial to the Gunners cause. If the reported £7m price tag is true, Arsenal will certainly pursue matters with determination.
Over the years, there has been constant speculation among fans and in the media just how much of a transfer fund Arsene Wenger has available to him every year. The Swiss Rambler’s dissection of the club’s interim figures suggests that making money from purely footballing revenue has become increasingly challenging, player salaries having shot up exponentially over the last few years. Arsenal have adopted the cautious approach of making a profit each year, and in recent years this has been achieved mainly from property sales and player transfers.
With many commercial deals coming up for renewal in 2013/14, are Arsenal Football Club already displaying a slightly more adventurous spirit in reconciling off-pitch success with on-pitch ambition? Besides stadium debt, the club does not have any other borrowings to service with interest payments. Any revenue from renewed commercial deals and the newly introduced Far East pre-season tours will add directly to the bottom line.
Time will tell whether the Podolski capture was just an opportunity that presented itself or part of a more conscious strategy by the club to be more aggressive in pursuing and securing target players.
Tomorrow we’ll have a look at Denilson’s loan season at Sao Paulo and his possible Arsenal future.