Podolski will thrive on Premier League pressure

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Life at Arsenal will suit Lukas Podolski just fine, according to the Cologne striker's fellow German international and future Gunners teammate Per Mertesacker.

After the club announced last week its deal to bring the 26-year-old to the Emirates Stadium this summer, a wave of excitement and anticipation has been evident around north London.

Now, Mertesacker - who has himself enjoyed a solid debut season in the Premier League with Arsene Wenger's charges - expects Podolski to make an immediate impact when he arrives at Arsenal after Euro 2012.

"I am happy that he is joining us here and I think he is very happy too," the defender told Arsenal Player. "I spoke to him several times and gave good references to this club. He will enjoy his time here.

"Some things are different in Germany to this club, especially here at the training ground. You have no press, no supporters around here and you can concentrate on training.

"It is very calm here and that is a good thing, especially for him because he is very famous in Germany and has played very well in the last big tournaments for them.

"He is very popular and that can sometimes be dangerous because everybody is putting pressure on him. But here you can concentrate on yourself and on your team. This is a great place for him to develop his performances as a footballer and a person, like I have in the last year."

Mertesacker and Podolski know each other well from their time together in the German national team, and with 43 goals in 95 appearances for his country, big things will be expected of the striker when he turns out in the Premier League.

The Gunners stopper is confident his compatriot has mastered the art of rising to the big occasion, and says it will stand him in good stead when making the transition into the English game.

"He is very confident," added the 27-year-old. "When he feels he has to be there for the team and when we needed a goal he was always there. He was always one of the best players on the pitch and nothing could take him down. He is so confident and that is what I like.

"He is a fantastic striker. Everywhere he has played he has scored a lot of goals. He is very good on his first left when he has the ball in front of him, that is a big quality and very good for us.

"I think he has good physical power and that is what is needed in the Premier League. He is very quick too. It is a challenge for him but he can cope with it."

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Per Mertesacker
Premier League

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