Lukas Podolski has been heavily criticised for his January move to Inter Milan, with former Bayern Munich boss Jupp Heynckes branding the decision to leave Arsenal as “not his most clever”, as reported by German publication Kicker.
Podolski was struggling for game time at Arsenal, and understandably looked for a move away in search of regular first team football.
He hasn’t fared much better in Italy however, and has failed to score even once in his sparse appearances in Serie A.
Heynckes has hit out at both Podolski and his agents, claiming that his move to Milan was a foolish one.
“Joining Inter was not the most clever decision from Lukas and his agents,” Heynckes said.
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“I worked with him for five weeks at Bayern [before his return to Koln] and he did very well in all five games he played. The people at Bayern did not understand how he had become a completely different player all of a sudden.”
The 29-year-old didn’t really have much of an option but to leave Arsenal, as he needed first-team football in order to be considered for national duty with Germany.
It seems now that Inter Milan was the wrong choice however, as the arrival of Xherdan Shaqiri right after Podolski’s signing has had a seriously negative effect on his game time.
Heynckes praised Germany boss Joachim Löw for his handling of Podolski, but claims the misfiring forward needs to step up his game in order to be kept in contention for a spot with his national side.
“National team coach Joachim Low has done an extraordinary job managing him like he has. But Podolski must step up his game again now. The coach can not keep protecting him all the time,” he continued.
It’s difficult to see Podolski making a successful return to Arsenal, and he will more than likely seek a permanent move away from the Emirates this summer.