Sell Him or Keep Him: What Should Arsenal Do With Lukas Podolski?


I kind of feel bad for Lukas Podolski. Arsene Wenger brought him on in 2012 and he scored 16 goals in 42 appearances. Not a bad turn out for a striker forced to play out of position or as a sub. The following year, his appearances were cut down to 27, but he still managed a healthy 12 goals.

And then there’s this year, where he was given just 13 appearances, most as as sub, and scored 3 goals.

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Where exactly the falling out happened is anyone’s guess. 28 goals in 69 appearances in his first two years is not an awful return. He has the best left foot in the world and he’s not bad technically either. Maybe he was Theo Walcott before it was cool and his lack of defensive track-back frustrated Arsene Wenger. But at a time where Arsenal really needed a back-up striker to reinforce Olivier Giroud, Podolski was loaned out. And that right there shows what Arsene Wenger thought of his value.

So onwards and upwards to Inter Milan, where he’d be given the opportunity that Arsenal completely refused to give him. However, with Mauro Icardi as the first-choice striker, Podolski was again confined to the left side of the pitch.

Fast forward nine appearances and Podolski has yet to score. He was voted the second worst signing in Serie A (via the Independent).

Inter manager Roberto Mancini was pretty outspoken about the German as well, saying, “Podolski must do more. What he’s doing is not enough and he’s the first to recognise that.” (the Independent). Podolski claims that the media criticism doesn’t effect him, but you have to wonder.

While Arsenal loaned him to Inter to perhaps prove a point, Podolski has done anything but, and it appears certain that Arsenal will sell the German to any available suitor. But Lukas Podolski is of the mindset that he isn’t exactly done at Arsenal.

“I was the first person to clear things up in the talks with Inter and say I didn’t want any kind of clause that would have let them purchase my contract rights,” Podolski said via SkySports. What this means is that it was Podolski who wanted the possible return to Arsenal, and not the big man Arsene Wenger.

He went on to say of Arsenal, “My chapter with Arsenal is not closed. I still have a year left on my contract [there] and always got on really well with the guys and the fans” (via the Guardian).

So what exactly is Arsenal to do with Podolski when he returns from a very unsuccessful loan?

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The go-to answer is to sell him. He was a headache, clamoring for playing time when he was here and despite putting up decent enough numbers, including a last minute winner against Anderlecht and two against Galatasaray, Lukas Podolski just has nowhere to go for Arsenal. He could rest as the third-choice striker, but there’s no way he’d stand for that. The winger slots are full-up, so even if he chose his second-choice position, he wouldn’t be playing.

Given that he’s soon to be 30, his chances are starting to wind down. His skill set is no longer dynamic enough to feature at Arsenal and it’s probably best for him to move on to a league where he can still get first-team reps, like Turkey.

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