Arsene Wenger has revealed the reason why Lukas Podolski has been substituted so many times in his debut season at Arsenal.
The German international joined Arsenal last summer from German team Cologne for £10.9 million last summer and signed a four-year deal worth a reported £100,000 a week.
He has since gone on to be a valuable player for the Gunners, scoring 14 goals in all competitions as well as assisting 10. However, the 27-year-old has been substituted an incredible 27 times in 30 starts.
The decision to consistently substitute Podolski had reportedly left the player fearing for his future but the boss has now revealed the reason has been down to the German’s fitness.
The Frenchman has been concerned that Podolski is struggling after not having the winter break he is used to in the Bundesliga and Wenger always took up the option to take off the German when possible.
Speaking to Arsenal.com Wenger said: “He had a good start [to the season], a very strong start.
“After that, he suffered a little bit physically and mentally because in Germany they have a break in mid-season.
“We have seen with many German players that when they come in for the first season, mentally they suffer a little bit. Now he has recovered and is getting stronger again.
“On the flanks is the most demanding position. Physically, especially in England, it's very tough.
“He's a striker. Many times we were in a position where we were in a winning position in the final 20 minutes and then I take a bit more of a guarantee defensively and take him out of the team sometimes.”
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