Despite reports linking the Arsenal forward with a move back to Germany, Vincent Ralph isn't so sure.
I think I have found it – the first ridiculous transfer rumour of the summer. Apparently Arsenal will face a battle to keep Lukas Podolski at the Emirates next season.
Yes…a battle! That seems a pretty extreme way to decide a footballer’s future, but who am I to argue with football’s mysterious machinations?
I have only recently written that Arsenal are in arguably the best position of all the Premier League elite – not just because they haven’t changed their manager, but because finally they are building on existing foundations rather than replacing summer departures – and here is Podolski reportedly off to Borussia Dortmund.
Only, of course he isn’t.
One year into a four-year contract, and with 16 goals last season despite playing predominantly from either the left wing or the substitutes’ bench, the 27-year-old’s first year in London has been perfectly okay. Outstanding comes later, rarely do footballers begin as the players they ultimately become.
As experienced as Podolski is, it was always going to take time for him to settle at the Emirates; more so following Wenger’s decision to play him wide or as a late replacement for Olivier Giroud.
But four goals and one assist in six Champions League games, one goal and one assist in a single FA Cup match, and 11 goals and nine assists in 33 league appearances (only 25 of which he started) – that is a pretty good record for a player who was said to be frozen out earlier in the campaign, only to win his place back by its conclusion.
So Dortmund may be interested, as might Atletico Madrid, but the German international will remain exactly where he is.
There is no battle, and no (sensible) bid that would tempt Wenger’s hand. In fact I have a feeling Podolski could be Arsenal’s star performer next season.
Although if he is, expect similar headlines for very different reasons this time next year. And be prepared to dismiss them just as quickly.
What do you think of the latest rumours? And how good can Podolski ultimately be for the Gunners?
image: © sdhansay