Arsenal outcast Podolski can overcome rough patch, claims teammate

Xherdan Shaqiri has praised Arsenal’s on-loan forward Lukas Podolski.

Lukas Podolski left the Emirates Stadium for Inter during the January transfer window, and Shaqiri has been quoted by SportBILD offering support for his under-fire teammate.

Since arriving in Milan, the 121-capped international has made nine appearances - failing to find the back of the net. He has done little to suggest that he should have remained with the Gunners as first-choice striker, and the 29-year-old was also left out of Inter’s squad for the knock-out stages of the Europa League.

It was fellow January signing Shaqiri who took Podolski’s place in the Europa League squad, with head coach Roberto Mancini only able to select one of his two arrivals.

Shaqiri, who arrived from Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich in January, has been the roaring success that Podolski must wish he had become. With just one more appearance to his name, the Swiss international winger has netted three goals and created two more for his teammates, helping the Serie A giants progress into the latter stages of the Europa League.

His success has exacerbated the criticism aimed at Podolski, but Shaqiri has told SportBILD that his new teammate has all the quality and experience to get through his poor run of form and become a success again.

Quoted in the German outlet, Shaqiri said: “He is a true professional who will help us a lot. He is going through a rough patch, but he has the experience to get out of it.

“Lukas is a very balanced person, I do not think he can be beaten by critics of the media. He is in training, doing good stuff and I do not agree with the criticism now aimed at him.”

Due to his poor form in Italy, it is likely that Podolski will return to Arsenal in the summer. It does not look like he has much of a future with the Gunners, and it would come as no surprise to see him leave the Emirates Stadium permanently in the summer.

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