Lukas Podolski believes Arsenal do have a credible chance to win the Premier League despite the lack if new recruits thus far at the Emirates.
The German forward has pledged to battle all the way to try to bring the top flight crown to north London, something that hasn’t happened since 2004.
Podolski reckons the Gunners are in the elite pack of clubs who will fight it out for glory.
Arsene Wenger’s outfit kick off their league campaign with a home game against Aston Villa on Saturday.
He said: “I hope we do well, better than last season. There are five or six teams who will fight for first place in the Premier League, and we are one of those teams. We will keep it going and fight for the championship.”
Podolski, in his second season at Arsenal after joining last summer from Cologne, feels he may be a stronger influence on the pitch this time of asking, benefitting from his adjustment to the demands of the Premier League.
He was absent for only five league games last term but the manager spotted a stamina issue and he only completed 90 minutes twice.
Podolksi added: “In Germany we’re used to having a break for two weeks, but here we spent the New Year in the team hotel. So that was different but I really like this league, I like the club and the fans are crazy – at the home matches and the away matches. The stadiums are all great – I love it here.”
Podolksi, now the third all-time record cap holder for Germany with 110 appearances, says the upcoming campaign will be interesting because of the managerial merry-go-round over the summer.
He said: “This year is a bit special though because all of the top three teams changed their manager. So we will see what happens there, because it’s not easy when a new manager comes in. New players have arrived too at those clubs, I know Andre Schurrle well from Germany and he has signed for Chelsea, so it will be interesting to see how he does.”
And with a year of premier League experience to call upon, the attacker feels more comfortable on and off the pitch in the capital.
He added: “Of course it’s very different to last year for me personally. I have spent a year here now so I know the staff, the players, the coaches. I know the city well too so I think this year will be a little bit easier. I am more at home, I know my way around, the restaurants, the things to do.”