New Arsenal signing Lukas Podolski has expressed his admiration for Arsene Wenger and hopes Robin van Persie will decide to stay at the club.
The Germany international will be joining up with the Gunners once he returns from the extended holiday he was given by the Emirates Stadium boss following his Euro 2012 exertions.
Van Persie is in a similar situation but his return to north London will be dominated by crucial talks with Wenger, who will be hoping to persuade his captain to remain at the club.
The Frenchman is not alone in this, Podolski admitted it would be disappointing to see last year’s Premier league golden boot winner leave and not have the chance to play together in the red of Arsenal.
“All I can say is Van Persie had an amazing record last season and hopefully there is a way he can stay with Arsenal,” he said in an interview with ESPN.
“It would be great to play with him, but obviously this is not in my control.”
The 27-year-old signed from recently relegated Bundesliga side Cologne had glowing praise for his new manager and spoke of the respect Wenger attracts in Germany.
Podolski also felt the Frenchman’s achievements were not being appreciated by some in England as they are around Europe because of the club’s seven years without winning a trophy, but he is keen to help rectify that.
“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,” the 100-cap Germany international added.
“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. Some people are disappointed with him, but they need to realise what a great coach they have.”
Despite defending Wenger’s record of finishing in the Champions League places every year, Podolski claimed that this was the bare minimum he expected at the club and intends to be fighting for the league title with the likes of the two Manchester clubs.
“Arsenal have a quality squad and they should not aim to finish behind the rest or just settle for top four,” he went on.
“Champions League football is the minimum requirement at Arsenal, but we should aim higher.
“For me, we have as good a chance as anyone in the Premier League. The key will be to start well and, unlike Manchester City or United, there will not be as much pressure on us.”