Earlier this week there was widespread coverage of a quote, purportedly from Lukas Podolski, in an obscure Turkish website. ‘I have agreed with Galatasaray,’ he http://metro.co.uk/2015/06/23/lukas-podolski-confirms-hes-agreed-galatasaray-transfer-from-arsenal-5261764/. ‘I want to leave.’
There are not many Arsenal fans that would be sad to see him go now, although many thought it was a mistake for Wenger to ignore the German in the earlier parts of last season, but it would seem that those quotes were not based on any reality after hearing Podolski’s latest utterings in Bild.
The 30 year-old was quoted as saying in the Guardian: “I’ve always felt comfortable there. With the fans, with the team and also with the manager. I’m going back to play, I have to say my qualities suit Arsenal.
“Inter? Last season went how it went. English football is the one which best suits my style but I know how suddenly everything can change.
“I have characteristics to help different teams but it was a mistake to go to Inter with no redemption clauses.
“In football there are times when everything doesn’t work out for the best. You’re not always playing as a starter and you just have to accept the decisions and work on your own game. That’s what I did but now I’m looking forward.”
If he is really looking forward to playing for Arsenal again then he had better downsize his expectations, as I expect the best that he could hope for is a place on the bench (or a start in the League cup if he’s lucky).
The honest truth is that the German has one year left on his contract, which is reported to be around £100,000-a-week, and we all know he is not going to accept a move to another club unless he is paid an equivalent sum, which simply is NOT going to happen in his wildest dreams.
So Wenger has to make a decision to either allow him to remain at the Emirates for his final year, or to subsidise his wages if he moves elsewhere. His statement above indicates that Podolski is going to play hardball before agreeing to leave the club.
What would you do if you were Wenger?