“My qualities suit Arsenal”. Famous words said by Lukas Podolski in his interview with German newspaper Bild about his future earlier this week. But is he right? Are we in no need to look out for a new central forward? Do we have another internal solution like we had with Coq last January? Or is it just a naive way of thinking which in all fairness would be typical for a guy like Lukas Podolski.
Lukas said it was a mistake to join Inter Milan on loan last January. Was it? I’d say it wasn’t. He just failed to make an impact which would lead to a permanent deal with the Italians. Right now Podolski is at a crossroad of his career. Deep down he knows that a chance to play first team football at Arsenal is unlikely. The famous ten minutes at the end of a game or if a game has to be turned around will probably be the most he will get under Arsene Wenger. Look at Tomas Rosicky. He’s not getting more game time and he has a much greater impact on the teams performance than Poldi has.
So why is Lukas Podolski saying he wants to proof himself at Arsenal next season? In my opinion it’s simple transfer talk. He wants to push interest and not lower it. If he’d say he’s desperate to leave he wouldn’t be in a good position to negotiate a new deal with another club. They would know he would take a cut price offer just to get first team football. Especially with a European Championship lurking around the corner first team football is what the German needs so desperately. Just the other week Germany coach Jogi Löw made it clear that Lukas Podolski has a point to proof and won’t just be nominated to be the funny mascot. Podolski’s position for club and country is in shatters and he knows that even if he post’s funny pictures on his facebook and twitter account all day.
And even if and that’s a big if Lukas Podolski really thinks he has a chance in the Arsenal forward department I wonder where that chance may be. Of course injuries can never be excluded in a season and squad planing but even with that in mind there simply isn’t a place in the squad for the German. We have Welbeck, Giroud, Akpom and even Theo as possible options for our central forward position. Theo and Akpom can play wide as well, so can and will Alexis and The Ox with Özil and Santi as other options. As Arsene Wenger and any other coach in recent years doesn’t see Podolski as a central forward but more as kind of winger he has tough opponents to beat in his fight for first team football. If you look at it closely the German doesn’t have the quality any more to battle Welbeck or Giroud for a starting spot. Both, Welbeck and Giroud, offer more technique and power in front of goal. Surely Podolski is still a good finisher. But getting into these positions to finish is the key these days. And honestly I can’t see that happening in his game.
So what’s to do for the Cologne carnival prince? If I were him I would look out for first team football elsewhere, struck a good deal for the upcoming years and give it a last shot.
Even if it’s not done yet I’d say goodbye Lukas and I’ll always wonder what could have been.