Mertesacker backs Podolski

Podolski hit 20 goals for club and country last season

Lukas Podolski: Germany and Arsenal team-mate Per Mertesacker is backing him to shine in the Premier League

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Per Mertesacker has called for patience from the fans after Arsenal's lacklustre display against Sunderland at the weekend.

The misfiring Gunners missed a host of chances to get their season off to a winning start against Sunderland.

The North London side had the lion's share of possession but failed to convert it into goals despite having summer signings Santi Cazorla, Lukas Podolski and his eventual replacement Olivier Giroud on show.

And, with the fans still coming to terms with life after Robin van Persie following the sale of their captain to Manchester United, the goalless draw was all the harder to take.

But Mertesacker believes it is only a matter of time before his fellow 27-year-old Germany international Podolski shows he is good enough to the fill the boots of the former fans' favourite.

"We saw a lot of misunderstandings against Sunderland, especially in the first half," Mertesacker told the Daily Mirror. "One guy wanted the one-two the other in behind.

"So we need a bit of time, especially with the new players, but I think it is coming.

"It was tough for Podolski because it was his first game up front. But he will get used to the game, switch on quickly and score a lot for us."