Lukas Podolski is nearing return from injury.
“Podolski is not too far away, I would say three weeks. He is doing fitness training on the pitch. He starts to do some ball work too, he still needs two or three weeks before we see him on the pitch for Arsenal.”
To be honest, not groundbreaking news. Podolski’s recovery process could still drag on. No one knows for sure, not even Wenger.
But nevertheless every German news station picked up the news. Podolski’s possible return is all over the internet. 76 sites wrote about it, and counting.
Two reasons why it still is worth covering Podolski and the excitement over his return:
He is probably one of the more famous characters at Arsenal and all over Germany especially in his hometown Cologne. As an outsider you still get the feeling that colleagues embrace his nature off the field and fans love his passion and his modesty.
At 28-years-old he still has a lot left in his tank and huge experience. Podolski has made 111 appearances for the German national team already. That is more than Ashley Cole, Steven Gerrard or even Frank Lampard have and they are four, five and seven years older then Podolski. The great Wayne Rooney, who is also 28-years-old recorded just 88 caps, 23 less then the German winger.
However despite having gained so much experience Podolski may find himself at a crossroads at Arsenal. whose lack of options in the striker position leave them crying out for his return.
Arsene Wenger once said that his German international is “super talented” and has “super power.” He is able to score a goal from everywhere on the field, however Wenger recently added:
“But he could develop better. With Lukas Podolski you always got the feeling that he is 80%-90% on the pitch. But you want the 100%.”
The second year man has no other option then to make great strides. The competition out wide has heated up notably thanks to young gun Serge Gnabry, while if he does not make a big impact up front early upon his return - a new striker is likely to be added to the mix in January.
Wenger may have been hinting Podolski thrives under pressure. We will soon find out.