Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina and forward Lukas Podolski may shift their base to Turkey the coming season. The 26-year old Colombian has been linked with Turkish club Fenerbahce ever since the Petr Cech deal was agreed. Since Polish keeper Wojciech Szczesny insisted that he was ready to stay at the Emirates and learn from Cech, he would be ready to play second fiddle to the talented and experienced Czech Republic International.
But Ospina would definitely hesitate to do so because he was in form towards the latter half of the 2014-15 season and put in a string of impressive displays. Even in the ongoing Copa America event he has impressed and was applauded by everyone for his excellent double save against Argentina in the quarterfinal. He was clearly Colombia’s best player in the entire tournament. Hence Ospina would feel that playing second fiddle to Cech with Szczesny also in line would degrade his performance so he would be determined to leave Arsenal once the Cech deal is officially completed.
Ospina himself confirmed last week that his agent was in talks with Fenerbahce officials but no deal was in place yet. Even few clubs in France including Marseille had shown interest in signing Ospina, who only moved to north London last summer after Arsenal coughed up £3.5million to sign him from Nice. Fenerbahce had tried to sign him even last summer eventually losing out to Arsenal. But this time Fenerbahce would be keen to bring him to the Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium and make him their No.1 considering the situation at Arsenal. But whether Ospina stays at Arsenal or leaves to Turkey or France would all depend on Arsene Wenger’s plans for the 2015-16 season. Lets hope that Wenger takes the right decision.
Another gunner who looks to be Turkey bound is German forward Lukas Podolski. This German spent the second half of last season on loan at Italian club Inter Milan. Under Roberto Mancini he managed to score only one goal in 18 appearances at the club. Hence his loan spell at Inter turned out to be unsuccessful. However last week Podolski said that moving to Italy was a mistake and that his style of play would suit the Premier League best. But Turkish champion club Galatasaray recently confirmed that they would like to sign the Arsenal forward. Galatasaray’s sporting director Cuneyt Tanman said on Turkish Radio and Television Corporation that the club was interested in signing Podolski. In reply Podolski said to NTV Sport that he grew up in a Turkish area and knew a bit of Turkish. He also said that Champions League football is a must and if an offer comes from the Turkish club he would sit down and discuss about it with his family and girlfriend.
Galatasaray are ready to offer Podolski a lucrative salary package if he decides to join them. However Podolski said that if he finds the right club, the right coach and the right environment he would evaluate it. So the job of convincing the German forward to join the Turkish club would lie in the hands of Galatasaray manager Hamza Hamzaoğlu. The Greece-born Turkish manager would have to sweet talk Podolski to joining them. Podolski had also insisted that the next transfer could be his last so he will have to take a well-thought step. So it would take Galatasaray more effort to land the left winger.
Therefore Ospina and Podolski may or may not be be donning the Arsenal colours again the coming season. If Wenger somehow gives them the confidence both of them may decide to stay and fight for their place in the playing XI. However if they do decide to leave all Gooners must approve of it considering their situation at the club. Lets wait and see what happens.