Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Arsene Wenger says Lukas Podolski is 'still important' to Arsenal after late winner

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Arsene Wenger insisted that Lukas Podolski is still “important” to Arsenal after the German striker’s last-minute winner at Anderlecht last night.

Champions League points. Podolski is known to be unhappy with his lack of opportunities this season but Wenger said afterwards he would continue to count on the World Cup winner.

“Poldolski we know can always score,” Wenger said. “He is frustrated and I understand that of course.  But he’s important as well and he showed that tonight and he will be important in the coming months.”

“It took him a while to get back to a good physical level [after the World Cup] and now he’s nearly there.”

Despite interest from Turkey and Italy this summer, Podolski stayed at Arsenal and Wenger praised him afterwards for a ruthless finishing instinct that not all Arsenal strikers possess.


“He was never close to leaving,” Wenger said. “He has 115 caps for Germany that is not a coincidence, that shows you the quality. I think he is a guy you want to have the ball in the box. His shot is fantastic, his accuracy is great and he has very short back lift. He nearly scored before and I know when he comes on he can score.”

Wenger admitted that he was surprised by the late comeback that won Arsenal the game. “It's a nice end to a game. We played against an Anderlecht team that played very well, well organised, very focused, very quick in the transition, very good in the challenges. It's a bit unexpected to take the three points, considering the quality of the match that Anderlecht played tonight.”