Arsenal boss Wenger hopes to keep Schalke target Podolski

After his side got their first Premier League victory of the season at Fulham on Saturday, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has stressed that the impressive Lukas Podolski is still an important player for Arsenal, Sky Sports has reported, with the striker being linked to a return to Germany.

Podolski was in good form as he struck twice in the 3-1 success at Craven Cottage, but that performance came soon after rumours arose linking the 28-year-old with a loan move to Schalke 04 after a shortage of starts for the Gunners in recent months.

And after his double in West London took Podolski’s Arsenal tally to 18 goals in 45 appearances in all competitions, Wenger said: “I am pleased for him because he hasn’t started much recently more because of the balance of the team than his performances.

I am pleased because he plays with a lot of spirit and he can score goals. Everybody in the squad loves Lukas and I want to keep him. When a player doesn’t play he is not happy and recently he did not always start but if you look at his and Olivier Giroud’s goalscoring record it’s very good.

Prior to joining Arsenal, Podolski, who has 111 caps and 45 caps for his country, spent his entire career in Germany, with an unsuccessful period at Bayern Munich coming in between two spells at Cologne, the second of which ended in relegation.

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