Low backs 'indispensable' Podolski to shine for Germany

The Mannschaft boss says the Arsenal attacker can still play a vital role in the team despite the added competition from team-mates and dissenting voices from critics
Germany coach Joachim Low says Arsenal's Lukas Podolski remains one of the most important players for the national side.

With Borussia Dortmund's Marco Reus and Chelsea's Andre Schurrle competing for the left attacking position, critics have questioned whether the Gunners forward is still the best option for the starting XI.

One of them was Germany's general manager Oliver Bierhoff, who stated in May that Podolski "had a year of stagnation" in the national team, however, Low says the forward can still play a crucial role for his country.

Speaking ahead of Germany's friendly with Paraguay in preparation for their World Cup qualifiers against Austria and Faroe Islands in September, Low told Kicker: "Podolski is still a very important player, because he strengthens the team with his abilities.

"With his dynamic style and his important goals, he has repeatedly showed his unpredictability can be a decisive factor in matches.

"Therefore, despite the competition from other players, Lukas is indispensable in his position at the moment."

With 110 appearances for Germany, Podolski is ranked third in the list of most-capped players for the country, trailing Lothar Matthaus and Miroslav Klose, who earned 150 and 127 caps during their careers.

But at just 28 years old, and his coach's backing, Podolski could well make a few more appearances for Germany.