Podolski confident he can fill boots of Van Persie at Arsenal

Updated: Jul 15, 2012, 19:37 PM IST

London: Lukas Podolski is confident he can fill the boots of Robin van Persie should the Dutchman leave Arsenal this summer. The Gunners signed the German international before Euro 2012 for 11.7 million pounds.

Fans had hoped the 26-year-old would supplement the attacking prowess of talismanic captain Van Persie. Podolski would rather the striker stayed in north London, but says he is ready to willing to step into the breach should the position become available.

The Daily Star quoted him, as saying: “All I can say is Van Persie had an amazing record last season and hopefully there is a way he can stay with Arsenal. It would be great to play with him, but obviously this is not in my control.” As for himself, the forward added in an interview with ESPN: ``I can play up front on my own, as a second striker or push forward on the left side of midfield. “So long as I am playing with adventure, get into position to score goals and give my all to the team then I can be satisfied. That’s why I’m pleased to hear people suggest my defensive work has improved over the years. I have worked hard on this area of my game,” he said. The German has also jumped to the defence of his new manager, who came under more pressure than ever before last season. Podolski said: ``He (Wenger) has a record getting Arsenal into the Champions League every season and his reputation in Germany and all over Europe is very strong.”

“What I like about him is his passion for attacking football. He aims to play with style and flair all the time. Those are his principles and he’ll never compromise on them,” he added. “He lives and dies by his own ideas and Arsenal is his baby. His reputation has been built on improving players and if he can help me take my game up a notch or two, I’ll be delighted,” Podolski said.