Date: 8th March 2012 at 9:44am
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The rumour that Lukas Podolski will be signing for Arsenal in the summer is gathering pace and no mistake.

The notion first started floating around the internet and football blogs with all the usual credence. Same old rumours that hardly ever come true. However as time passes by there certainly does seem to be a lot more smoke than usual.

Indeed, Arsenal`s “Big F***ing German” Per Mertesacker has confirmed that Podolski has sent him numerous texts inquiring what it`s like to play for the Gunners.

Over night the rumour has escalated somewhat with various news agencies claiming that Arsenal and Cologne have agreed a fee for the striker. Whether or not this is fact or fabrication is not what I`m here to discuss, no, what I want to ponder are the implications on the change of the way Arsene Wenger conducts his business, should the “facts” turn out to be correct.

Aside from a slight nuance every now and again, Mr Wenger`s transfer policy over the last few years has been one akin to that of the eating habits of a hyena. Waiting until the larger predators have had their fill of what`s on offer and then snaffle up the best of the rest, it`s an understandable stance considering the amount of times we`ve had the rug pulled out from under our feet by ruble baring Russians or massively wealthy sheiks. However it`s a transfer policy that`s becoming increasingly harmful to our club.

Failing to strike quickly has cost us chances at signing top players, it`s meant players we have signed haven`t had a preseason, a chance to bed in and on many occasions having to settle into a team whose season is already in full swing. Then there`s lack of top signings causing existing Arsenal players too question the motives of the club. It`s a policy that has very few pros and far too many cons.

To come to an arrangement to sign a great player like Podolski not only before the close of the transfer window, but before the current season has even ended is a massive step in the right direction. And this is forgetting the fact that we have the European Championships in the summer, where a decent tournament could hike Podolski`s price or draw even more attention from other suitors.

Waiting till after the tournament is not productive in my eyes.

After watching some footage of Lukas this morning, I came to the realisation that his style of play and lethal left foot is very similar to a certain Arsenal player whose North London future has been called into question as his contract runs out and his form continues to spiral out of this world (any guesses?). Now one would be forgiven to think that Wenger could be bringing in Podolski as a replacement. Indeed that was my initial reaction, and while there is a distinct possibility that Le Prof is trying to strengthen the side with top class players in order to convince the best striker in the world to stay (you guessed who I`m talking about yet?) ?. Which would also be a change in tack for the Frenchman ?. We do have to consider the possibility that Podolski is a direct replacement for RvP.

The thought of losing Robin is hideous. However it`s no more hideous than the thought of losing Cesc Fabregas, Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira, Anders Limpar, Ian Wright, and we survived all those losses right? The harsh reality is that there are only two certainties in life, death and taxes, and by extension of the former, no player will ever stay at Arsenal forever, and as such we must prepare for losing players by bringing in others to take their place.

One of the things that I notice gets Arsenal fans so angry, and rightly so, has been Wenger`s inability to adequately replace our top players when they`ve left over the last couple of years. Admittedly replacing Cesc Fabregas is no small task, but when you`re sitting on £50M, to not do everything in your power to fill that massive void feels like a kick in the nadgers (or the nadgette for all you female fans).

So whether AW is signing Podolski (if indeed it does turn out to be true) as a replacement or to strengthen the squad, the change in stance and the timing of the signing is a massive step in the right direction, and one that leaves me hopefully that for once, finally, we`ll be getting all our affairs straightened out before a major tournament and in time for pre-season.