Mertesacker: Podolski will score a lot for Arsenal

The towering defender admits his fellow Germany international found Saturday's goalless draw with Sunderland tough going but insists he will soon be regularly hitting the net

Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker believes the club's fans will soon see the best of new striker Lukas Podolski.

Podolski failed to score on the opening day of the season when Arsenal hosted Sunderland at the Emirates Stadium, with the match finishing 0-0.

But Mertesacker believes the team are just getting started and his fellow Germany international will soon be hitting the net.

He told Arsenal’s official website: “It was tough for him [on Saturday] because it was his first game up front.

“I think he will get used to the game, switch on quickly and score a lot for us.

“You have seen that he has a good technique and he is good in possession. We have the players who can pass him the ball. He is a good finisher too and we will see that in a couple of weeks.

“We saw a lot of misunderstandings [against Sunderland], especially in the first half. One guy maybe wanted the one-two, the other in behind.

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“So we need a bit of time, especially with the new players. We had a few new players who were playing their first game over 90 minutes. But I think it is coming.”

Mertesacker is glad to be back on the pitch for the Gunners after struggling for fitness last term, beginning and ending the campaign with injuries, his season being finished early after picking up an ankle injury at Sunderland.

He added: “It was a bit weird [being back] but the pitch was much better than Sunderland away!

“I felt very comfortable so now I just have to go on. I did not feel any pain, my ankle is fine and I am looking forward to the next game and the season. It is very important for us to start well and be aware at Stoke.”