In a move which was never really a secret, Lukas Podolski has travelled to Milan to finalise a loan move to Inter, after Arsenal reportedly accepted an improved offer from the Italian giants.
But the question is should Arsenal have let him go? And why have we let him go?
The Lukas Podolski situation has always been a strange one for me. He is clearly a talented player, and allegedly Steve Bould came out and said that Podolski was the best finisher he has ever seen at the club – high praise considering Steve Bould was around when players like Alan Smith, Ian Wright, Nicolas Anelka and Dennis Bergkamp were at the club.
Podolski joined Arsenal from FC Koln in the summer of 2012 and was immediately thrust into the first team alongside new signings Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla – and made 33 appearances in the league alone. The season after he only played 20 Premier League games, and this season he only featured in 6. So clearly, there is an issue with him at Arsenal.
But what was it? He’s had limited playing time this season but did score a vital winner against Anderlecht in the Champions League and then scored a brace against Galatasaray in the same competition – and all the goals were clinical finishes. And for me, he is a player whose finishing is right up there with the very best – surely there’s a place for a player like him who can score when given the right service?
I’m sure most Arsenal fans are wondering if it was Arsene Wenger who had a problem with him or whether the system we used was just not suited to Podolski’s game. Olivier Giroud is obviously the preferred striker and with Alexis Sanchez in sensational form and Danny Welbeck willing to run for the team, I suppose Podolski was always going to be left on the sidelines. What is strange to me however is that during Giroud’s injury spell, Podolski had something to offer. Podolski has a hammer shot but when played wide on the left his delivery is excellent – the assists he has provided over the last couple of seasons for Giroud alone were top drawer.
Also, there are times when Arsenal lack a Plan B or just need to mix things up a little. Podolski (if used right) would be perfect for that but was never used. For a player of his ability, I find it strange that he hasn’t featured more this season. You don’t just turn into a poor player overnight and when you have seen Podolski play, he’s scored goals.
There’s no doubt that Lukas will be happier at Inter Milan where I am sure he will get much more playing time, but my regret is that we didn’t use him to his full potential – and for me he is someone that could definitely help the current Arsenal team.
But what do you think? Should Arsenal have kept Lukas Podolski at the club? Cast your vote below and leave your thoughts in the comments section!