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Arsene Wenger has the new striker he seeks sat under his nose

| 16.04.2014

In two differing ways, one Arsenal player couldn’t have made more of a racket to dissuade Arsene Wenger from dipping into the transfer market to recruit some help up front for Olivier Giroud next season.

During the stuttering FA Cup semi-final display against Wigan, the Frenchman’s decision to shepherd’s hook Podolski off the field for Giroud was greeted with boos by the fans and criticism from the player post-match.

“I always come out and of course you cannot be happy when you always go out after 60, 70 minutes,” he said.

Having said his piece, Podolski obviously caught his boss’ attention who, in a bid to placate the disgruntled squad member, left the German on the field for the duration of Arsenal’s clash with West Ham. Podolski grabbed the chance to showcase his skills with both hands.

Two emphatic finishes helped Arsenal rally from a goal down to beat Sam Allardyce’s side 3-1 and keep their 8/15-rated top-four challenge on course.

The performance, which took the 28-year-old’s tally to 10 goals in just 22 appearances, should have done plenty to convince Wenger that, rather than splash the cash on a hefty back up to Giroud, he should use Podolski through the middle more often.

Although often used from a wide left position, the former Bayern Munich man is no stranger to playing up front and as Wenger has a history of converting wingers into front men, wouldn’t need to put in too much training ground work with the German on this occasion.

Podolski, who is 6/1 to open the scoring against Hull next time out, has six Premier League goals to his name, which is third in Arsenal’s scoring charts, despite only starting 10 games for the club this season.

His dead-eye play in front of goal naturally lends itself to a longer spell up front and would free up Wenger’s transfer kitty to more important recruitment areas, like a right-back and reserve keeper.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.