Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski admits he fears for his future in north London following the controversial transfer of Danny Welbeck from Manchester United.
The Daily Express reports that the England international striker moved to the Emirates in a £16 million deal on deadline day, and is expected to go straight into Arsene Wenger's starting line-up when the Gunners take on Manchester City in the Premier League next Saturday.
Welbeck's arrival further increases the competition for places in Arsenal's centre-forward position, and even after the recent injury to Olivier Giroud, Podolski isn't confident he'll get regular action this season in the likelihood that he'll be pushed further down the pecking order.
Lukas Podolski quotes:
"Initially, it's a difficult situation for me," the Germany international told Kicker. "When you buy new players for a lot of money, they have an advantage because they will play.
"But we've got a long season ahead of us and we'll see what happens."
Despite making 70 appearances since joining Arsenal in the summer of 2012, the former Cologne man has failed to ever really cement his place in Wenger's first-team.
He currently faces competition from Yaya Sanogo, the soon to be returning Theo Walcott and the recently acquired Welbeck for his preferred role at the focal point of the Gunners' attack.
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Lack of faith
Although Podolski believes he's perfectly suited to the position he's unsure whether Wenger fully trusts him there, but will continue to work hard in training to prove he is capable.
"When I am in top shape, I am a perfect fit for the Arsenal team and I see myself in the first XI. That's what I work towards."
Asked if he still had the confidence and support of his manager, he added: "I am not sure [but] I hope that that's the case."
With wages of around £100,000-a-week, Podolski remains one of Arsenal's highest earners despite the bit-part role that he's played over the past two years. In that respect, it's a little surprising that Wenger hasn't cashed in on the 29-year-old to get him off the club's wage bill.
The World Cup winner was linked with a move away from the Emirates Stadium during the summer, with Juventus, Galatasaray and Wolfsburg among his list of admirers.
However, the untimely injury to Giroud in the recent 2-2 draw with Everton at Goodison Park all but ended any possibility of Podolski departing, especially as Welbeck's transfer from Old Trafford wasn't confirmed until the very last minute.
Podolski will now be forced to bide his time between now and January, and if regular opportunities are not forthcoming then he will probably push for a move when the transfer window reopens at the turn of the year.
Much will also depend on the success of Welbeck following his switch from Manchester United, with a number of people already doubting his credentials before he's even kicked a ball in an Arsenal shirt.
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