Arsenal new boy Lukas Podolski can help lift the weight of optimism off the shoulders of captain Robin van Persie next season, according to manager Arsene Wenger.

Van Persie has scored 28 goals in the Premier League this season, over three-times as many as the next player, Theo Walcott, and has often been The Gunners' match-winner this season.

Having confirmed the signing Podolski this week, Wenger has high hopes for next season, and feels the German international's influence means Arsenal don't have to rely on their Dutch skipper.

Lukas Podolski
Podoski will assist Van Persie in attack next season.

"[He was on our radar] for a long time," Wenger said. "He is a versatile striker - he can play through the middle, behind the striker, up front, on the left and on the right.

"That's what we like, and he can score goals as well. How many times have we been accused this season of being too reliant on Robin van Persie? He can score goals and provide, and he is the class that we want.

"He can fit with Robin van Persie through the middle or on the sides. That is for sure. That was an important part of the decision making [about signing him]."

"He has gained experience," he added. "First of all, Bayern are massive in Germany. Maybe he was too young when he went there.

"He has 95 caps for Germany at 26 years of age - you don't get that if you are not a top-quality player. He had a great World Cup as well, and we have played against him and you can see he is a very intelligent player. That is what attracted us to him, basically."

Podolski is likely to fill in on the left of Arsenal's front three, alongside Van Persie, in a side that already appears well equipped to improve on their current position of third place next term.

Arsenal's Champions League qualification hopes are still in their hands, with a point separating them from fourth placed Tottenham Hotspur and fifth placed Newcastle United.

However, the club's aims next season go beyond their European campaign, with closing the gap to the Manchester pair at the top of the Premier League the priority, as well as ending a seven-year wait for a trophy.