Arsenal FC: Breaking Down Lukas Podolski's Premier League Stats This Season

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Arsenal FC: Breaking Down Lukas Podolski's Premier League Stats This Season
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

German international forward Lukas Podolski is nearing the end of his first season with Arsenal, having experienced mixed results along the way.

Podolski, 27, has scored nine goals and recorded nine assists in 31 Premier League appearances (23 as a starter) this season. Most of his appearances have come as a left-sided attacker, though he has played as a central striker as well.

All nine goals were scored in separate games, but Podolski has produced two multiple-assist matches this season. He assisted two goals at Reading in December and three at home to West Ham in January.

Using stats from WhoScored? and Squawka, we will break down Podolski's stats this season in the space below.

Graphic and stats via Squawka.

Scoring

As noted above, Podolski has scored nine Premier League goals this season. That is not necessarily an impressive total, but it is important to remember that Podolski is playing his first campaign in England. An adjustment period is always necessary for a player moving to a new country.

In addition, it is worth keeping in mind Arsenal's balanced attack this season. With Robin van Persie sold to Manchester United, more players have shouldered the goalscoring load more equally. Podolski's total ranks fourth among Arsenal players behind Theo Walcott (13), Santi Cazorla (12) and Olivier Giroud (11).

His nine assists rank second behind Walcott's 10.

Delving into Podolski's peripheral stats reveals 1.5 shots, 1.0 key passes, 0.4 dribbles and 0.8 turnovers per game (per WhoScored?). Podolski has scored eight of his goals with his left foot and one with his head, while four each have come from inside and outside the box. He has shot with 59 percent accuracy (Squawka).

The graphic above shows (h/t Sqawka) the placement of Podolski's goals. The greatest concentration appears at the lower right-hand corner.

Graphic and stats via Squawka.

Passing

Podolski has recorded an 83.8 percent pass-completion rate this season, according to WhoScored?. According to that site's stats, Podolski averages 28.5 passes, 1.0 key passes, 0.3 accurate crosses, 0.3 accurate long balls and 0.1 accurate through balls per match.

Squawka's data show that 54.4 percent of Podolski's passes have been aimed backward. He has produced 31 chances, or one per game, with most coming from the middle of the attacking third.

The graphic above (h/t Squawka) illustrates the areas from which Podolski has created his chances. Not surprisingly, he has posed nil threat on the right side.

 

Conclusions

It is little surprise that nearly all of the danger Podolski has created this season has come from his left foot. It is his primary weapon, and when he is playing well, it can be lethal. Thus, it also makes sense that Podolski's contributions have come from the left.

A proven goalscorer in Germany (31 league goals over the previous two seasons with Köln) and at the international level (44 goals in 108 caps), Podolski has performed slightly below expectations with Arsenal this season in terms of scoring.

With nine goals, however, his contribution has been important. What's more, his nine assists make him a valuable part of Arsenal's attack. With more time to settle into England, his role and production could very well expand next season.

 

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