Lukas Podolski, who is struggling for game time at Arsenal, admits he may have to consider his options unless his situation improves in the near future.
The German international, who has been capped 118 times by the current World champions, is in his third season at the Emirates Stadium, during which time he has made 73 appearances in all competitions. He has also earned a place in the hearts of many Gunners fans, for the way he has embraced life in the capital after spending all his previous career in his homeland.
However, Podolski has cut a frustrated figure in recent weeks due to a lack of first team action. Although he played the full match against Southampton in the League Cup – in which the Saints won 2-1 – he has made just two substitute appearances in the Premier League, equating to just 33 minutes, and he also came off the bench in the 2-0 UEFA Champions League loss at Borussia Dortmund.
This is sure to result in speculation surrounding his future in January, particularly as he was linked with a move during the summer transfer window, and the 29-year-old told RTL: “I am a full-blooded player, a street player and I love competition. If I don’t have this competition every weekend then a change must occur. We’ll have to see but I have to at least give it a thought.”
Podolski will find his route into the first even more congested when Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott are back in contention after recovering from their respective injuries. However, they may all have to take a back seat in regards to the central striker role in the Arsenal side, as £16million summer recruit Danny Welbeck continues to impress following his shock move from Manchester United.
The England international, who scored both goals in the 2-0 win in Switzerland last month, has scored once in his three Premier League outings for the Gunners, and was superb as he hit a hat-trick in the 4-1 Champions League triumph over Galatasaray on Wednesday night. It could be argued that the striker role is now his to lose, and he is determined to keep Arsene Wenger happy.
“This was my first hat-trick,” Welbeck told Sky Sports. “I am playing up front and trying to score goals and getting goal-scoring opportunities and tonight it paid off as I got the three goals. He (Wenger) has shown a lot of faith in me and I am delighted to be able to pay him back. He has given me the chance to play in my preferred position and I am going to do everything I can to make sure he is happy.”
Is it time for Podolski to move on, or should Wenger try and persuade him to stay? Let us know what you think by joining in the discussion below.