Podolski: This was the moment I knew I had to leave Arsenal

Lukas Podolski says he made up his mind to leave Arsenal only last month.

Lukas Podolski has already made his debut for Inter Milan after a swift early loan move became one of the big transfer window deals.

The German international had incredibly failed to start a single Premier League game all year, and was growing increasingly frustrated on the sidelines.

In early December, Podolski netted two goals in a 4-1 Champions League win away to Galatasaray, and says his treatment afterwards made up his mind to leave Arsenal.

He told The Sun: "Wenger said to me I was the best finisher at the club. Let me play, then. If you always play ten or 15 minutes, you can show nothing. I was coming on at either 0-0 or 2-0 or 3-0 down.

“The big moment was after the Champions League game. I played a very good game against Galatasaray and then I was on the bench again. I knew I had to move.”

Podolski was overlooked for five subsequent matches against Newcastle, Liverpool, QPR and West Ham, and Southampton, with Wenger claiming he had a hamstring problem for the Saints loss.

The World Cup winner had every right to be frustrated, particularly for the West Ham game in which Olivier Giroud was suspended.

The clash at home to Newcastle would have been an ideal time to put him straight in while his confidence was high after the Galatasaray game, but really, it should not even have been an issue and Podolski should have been getting game time in the league far before then - and now he has a great opportunity to show the club what they are missing out on.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch