Podolski is Arsenal's best finisher, says Wenger

The Gunners boss believes that the Germany international could score more goals if he played as a centre-forward, a position in which he has only been deployed twice this season

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has defended forward Lukas Podolski against criticism of his recent form, maintaining that the Germany international is the club’s best finisher.

The summer signing has had a somewhat troubled first season at the Emirates Stadium but stepped in as a striker following Olivier Giroud’s three-match ban and the Gunners boss is looking to his charge to make more of an impact next year through the middle after a summer of rest.

Wenger told the press: “I believe [centre-forward] is his best position, maybe because on the flanks he needs to work so hard and he’s more a finisher than anyone else in the team. Him and Theo Walcott are two finishers.

“He was a little bit rusty [in Sunday’s 1-1 draw against Manchester United] because he had not played a lot but of course it’s a good opportunity for him to show that he has a future in this position and that he can finish.

“Honestly, I played him only against Sunderland in the first game in this position, only against Manchester United in this position, so it’s not two ideal games, the first game of the season and against Man Utd but I am tempted to give him another chance in this position.

“He wants to play through the middle but today all the players who play on the flanks want to play there!

“It is only his first season. I think as well, [the fact that] he had the European Championship, you know, he came back without a real rest, changed his first season.

“Overall, if you look at his numbers, he had quite a good season – but not through the middle, on the flanks. But I’m convinced, through the middle, he can have a great goalscoring record.”

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