Lukas Podolski’s spell at Arsenal has come to an official end, following his transfer to Turkish side Galatasaray.
The Germany international joined the Gunners in the summer of 2012, when Arsene Wenger lured him from Cologne for an undisclosed fee believed to be in the region of £11million. At the time the French coach envisaged great things for the forward, citing his ‘phenomenal’ record for his country and predicting he would go on to be an important part of his club’s future.
But Podolski has never been able to command a regular place in the first team, with Theo Walcott, Olivier Giroud, Santi Cazorla and Mesut Ozil preferred in the forward positions before last season, when Alexis Sanchez and Danny Welbeck further added to the competition. As a result, the 30-year-old joined Inter Milan on loan in January, playing 17 times for the Serie A side.
And he has now sealed a permanent exit from the Premier League side, joining Galatasaray in a deal which is worth an initial £1.8million. He has signed a three-year contract with an option of a fourth for the Istanbul club, with the who must also pay the English side £2.1million upon completion of each which could take the total price of the transfer to just over £10million.
Podolski, who made 82 appearances for the Gunners, is a player the Super Lig champions have been linked with for some years now, and speaking after finally concluding a deal for the player, president Dursun Aydin Ozbek said: “Lukas Podolski was a player we have been following for a long time. We have met the expectations of our fans. We think he will serve us for many years.”