Galatasaray Want Podolski: Does He Still Have a Future at Arsenal?
While we anxiously wait for the imminent announcement of the Petr Cech deal, there has been some transfer speculation surrounding the club (as always). Arsenal seems to be a piece of meat for all these sports columns, with various sites linking all sorts of players with the club.
According to the folks at Fox Sports, Turkish juggernauts, Galatasaray SK, have declared their interest in signing Lukas Podolski this summer. The Turkish giants had a great campaign last season, winning the Turkish SuperLig with just three points above their fierce rivals, Fenerbahce. They also did the double after beating Bursaspor in the Turkish Cup final. Burak Yilmaz led the scoring charts with 22 goals and the new gaffer, Hamza Hamzaoglu, would be hoping for Podolski to get into the scoring act next season.
By winning the League, Galatasaray would qualify for the Champions League group stages next season but they will be hoping to avoid a repeat of their shameful campaign last season. They were paired in the same group with Borussia Dortmund, Anderlecht and of course, Arsenal. They were on the end of some real bashing from Arsenal and Dortmund in particular, conceding four goals each time they met both sides home and away.
After featuring sparingly for the Gunners in the first half of the season, Podolski was loaned to Inter Milan at the start of the January transfer window and it’s fair to say that he didn’t light up any fireworks in the city of Milan. Poldi featured 18 times for the Nerazzuri and scored only one goal, a good goal too, against Udinese.
With Inter failing to retain his services, he has returned to the club but he harbors hopes of playing his part next season,
“I’ve always felt comfortable there. With the fans, with the team and also with the manager. I’m going back to play, I have to say my qualities suit Arsenal.
“Inter? Last season went how it went. English football is the one which best suits my style, but I know how suddenly everything can change.”
When your manager is looking for a goalscoring opportunity while losing to Swansea and he brings on a raw talent like Yaya Sanogo instead of a seasoned veteran with over 100 caps for his country, it speaks in large volumes. It’s very evident that Arsene Wenger has lost faith in Podolski and it’s really strange bearing in mind that he scored 26 goals in his first two seasons with the club. Everyone associated with the club considers the German to be a liability rather than asset but his quality is undoubted. Podolski is the kind of guy that can be anonymous all game long but when you have a strikerin a one-on-one situation, he’s the one man you’d be wishing to have in such a position.
Even Wenger has acknowledged that the German is a great finisher but there are other facets to his game that has found him wanting. Podolski is highly effective when playing from the left flank as he has a very good technique with the ball on his feet but off the ball, his game needs some improvement, even though I don’t think that can happen, bearing in mind that he’s already 30. When he was featured as a center forward, he doesn’t hold up play, hassle opposition defenders, offers a focal point in attack or pose a threat in the air – something you can also count on Olivier Giroud to do for you.
Wenger has a vast array of players that can be featured on the left flank with Alexis Sanchez being the alpha-dog in that position. Mesut Ozil featured there at some point last season and when Danny Welbeck lost his place in the starting lineup as a center forward, he got some game time there. Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere, Tomas Rosicky and even Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are very adept playing on that position, so it’s going to be hard to see where Podolski would fit.
Podolski was also critical of his manager when he made his move to Italy and I feel it may come back to bite him in the arse. When you think of the fact that he got featured in a dead-rubber game against Galatasaray and even netted a brace, only to return to the bench when the Gunners played Newcastle, it’s a situation that shows what the manager clearly felt about him.
I like Podolski. He’s a lovable bloke that does a lot of nice stuff on social media but if he wants to remain at the club, his chances of featuring consistently are slim to none.
If I was in his shoes, I’d go to Turkey and play consistent football so that I can be in Joachim Loew’s squad for Euro 2016. That and maybe the 2018 World Cup in Russia could be his last big international tournaments. He’d want to be playing regularly to at least give himself a chance of playing for his country.
Sadly, he might not have that at Arsenal.
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