Wenger happy with firepower options despite Podolski loss

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is confident he has the "many solutions" in attack needed to secure a successful end to the season, but warned against expecting too much too soon from Theo Walcott.

The Gunners confirmed yesterday that German forward Lukas Podolski has completed a loan move to Inter Milan for the remainder of the 2014/15 season.

The 29-year-old, who joined the Gunners from Cologne in the summer of 2012, had become frustrated by a lack of first-team opportunities, often used as an impact player from the bench by Wenger.

Podolski, who was part of the World Cup winning squad in Brazil during the summer, has already linked up with Roberto Mancini’s Serie A side and trained in Milan yesterday.

“He is experienced and has a wonderful career behind him,” Mancini, the former Manchester City boss, said.

“He will help us and is not at the end of his career.”

Wenger, meanwhile, is confident his side have the armoury to cope with the German’s absence.

The Gunners secured a place in the fourth round of the FA Cup with a 2-0 win over Hull on Sunday.

Chile forward Alexis Sanchez impressed again, stroking home his 16th goal of the season with eight minutes left, while on another day Walcott — making a first start since the serious knee injury which kept him out for almost a year — would have netted a brace himself but for some rusty finishing.

With Olivier Giroud having now completed his three-match suspension and England forward Danny Welbeck expected to shake off his thigh injury ahead of the visit of Stoke on Sunday, which could also see German playmaker Mesut Ozil involved after three months out, Wenger certainly has plenty of options going forwards.

The Gunners boss said on Arsenal Player: “We have many options when you think of the players who still have not played (against Hull), we have many solutions up front.

“It is a very important period now. We have had many injuries until now and hopefully everybody will be back.”

Wenger, though, will be cautious with Walcott’s rehabilitation.

“You cannot expect much [from Walcott yet], but fitness-wise he was good,” the Gunners boss said.

“Theo had good chances, made some good runs. He has to get used to contact again and that will take a little bit of time.”


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