Lukas Podolski admits Per Mertesacker had a big influence on his decision to join Arsenal.

He says he is particularly looking forward to playing alongside Germany team-mate Mertesacker and learning from Arsene Wenger over the coming years.

"He has been a very successful coach both in Europe and around the world," Podolski told the Official Arsenal Magazine. "This definitely helped in making my decision.

"He speaks several languages, and German in particular, which is very helpful. We have spoken to each other on the telephone a few times, which was very good and also made my decision even easier.

"I speak to Per whenever we meet," he added. "Per has mentioned things about the Club's organisation, the training ground and the fans, and this has really helped.

"It might have influenced me to a certain extent, but in the end of course I took the decision to come here myself."