Podolski eyeing Arsenal starting place

Arsenal striker Lukas Podolski has set his sights on breaking into the starting line-up, despite the arrival of Danny Welbeck from Manchester United, the Independent has reported.

Welbeck joined the Gunners for £16m on transfer deadline day in the wake of an injury to first-choice striker Olivier Giroud, who will now be out for the rest of the calendar year with a fractured tibia.

In the meantime, Welbeck, who scored twice as England defeated Switzerland on Monday evening, will compete with Podolski as well as Yaya Sanogo for the role as the lone striker, while Alexis Sanchez and the injured Theo Walcott can also play there.

Podolski signed for Arsenal in the summer of 2012, but has never completely established himself as a first-team regular, and has mainly been deployed on the left, with Giroud through the middle.

And the Germany World Cup winner is hoping to take advantage of the Frenchman’s injury, although he admits Welbeck could initially be ahead of him in the pecking order. He said: “Initially, it’s a difficult situation for me. 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.’

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