Lukas Podolski has never really manged to fulfill his full potential since his move to the Emirates and has constantly gone down in the past few seasons, due to lack of form and faith from Arsene Wenger. At the start of the season due to increased competition on the wings and virtuoso displays by Alexis he was forced to the bench.
He rarely started a game and made only a handful of substitute appearances before making it public that he was not happy with his situation at the club. Despite Wenger saying he is still a part of club and is in his plans it was clear that his situation will be sorted out in the January transfer window. Despite his brace against Galatasaray, he was a unused sub for the next few matches summed up his situation at the club.
Finally ending the saga the German international was sent to Inter Milan on loan till the end of the season. It was not a fruitful one and he ended up playing very less and again was limited to the substitute after some mediocre performances in the second half of the season. His typical left footed thundering shot from outside the box was the only highlight of his Milan spell. Later he made it public that he would be returning to the Emirates for the next season. It remains a question as what will be his role at the club in the coming years.
He never really settled into Arsene’s formations and tactics since his arrival in the summer of 2012. Though his 15 goals and 12 assists in his first season as a gunner was impressive, he still could not function effectively as a wide forward. Shunning the defensive duties and leaving the full back exposed had proved costly at important times. He doesn’t have to hold up play to bring others into play but could fit in well as a second striker in any setup.
In his handful of goals this season the arguably the most important one was his strike vs Anderletch to secure a valuable 3 points away from home to secure a place in the knock out phase. Not to forget his powerful shot vs Galatasaray was a sight to behold.
Looking ahead, His role at the club could be limited to the role of a super sub when in need of a goal vs tired defenses or parked buses. It’s a long way back to the starting lineup for him falling behind in favour of those who work tirelessly in defence as well as attack. As he looks to continue for being in contention for the national duty, he could return to Germany for playing time.
Does Podolski have a future at Arsenal?