Lukas Podolski’s loan to Inter Milan is now official and it seems certain he has played his last game for the Gunners as he spends the remainder of the campaign in Serie A.
The 29-year-old attacker nearly secured a permanent move away from Emirates over the summer but for Olivier Giroud to be struck down with a serious injury requiring Arsene Wenger to block any move for the Germany World Cup winner.
The flamboyant Podolski seemed destined for a departure this January having lost the faith of the manager. Starting just two games this season, the former Cologne forward was continually restricted to just cameo appearances from the bench when the game was either well won or they chased a lead.
Still he managed three goals, one of which was vitally important in Arsenal’s late surge to beat Anderlecht and the others in the dead rubber against Galatasaray.
Wenger clearly had lost faith in Podolski some time ago. His ability to go completely missing in games was evident in the FA Cup final and on a number of occasions last season. He was infamously substituted during the closing stages of games due to his fitness and lack of defensive cover. He never quite managed to establish himself as a regular when all star players were fit.
Yet was it a wise decision to let him leave considering the injury-prone nature of the side? If you needed a goal late in a game, is it better to turn to Joel Campbell instead? What ever way you play it, Podolski wanted to leave because he wasn’t playing and did not feel as valued as a 100+ cap player for Germany should.
Personally I feel it’s a blow considering he is the clubs best finisher but equally if a player is unhappy and feels hopeless then it’s understandable that he is moved on. No matter what he did when given the chance he never was going to be a regular and that’s why he is now in blue and black.
Best of luck to him.