Who will fill the void left by Lukas Podolski following his retirement from the German national side?

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Lukas Podolski is Germany's all-time second most capped outfield player and was part of the German side that won the 2014 FIFA World Cup.


Lukas Podolski 3 Germany

Former Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski yesterday confirmed his retirement from the German national football team after 12-years with the four-time world champions. 

Born in Poland in 1985, Podolski went on to make 129 appearances for the German national side - scoring 48 goals between 2004 and 2016. 

He has represented Germany in three World Cups and four European Championships and ends his international career as Germany's third all-time top goalscorer behind Miroslav Klose and Gerd Muller respectively. 

Now with Turkish side Galatasaray, the 31-year-old forward confirmed his decision via his personal Instagram account. 

 

Hello Fans, After twelve years and seven major tournaments, the time has come. I want to tell you today, that I have called Coach Löw to inform him, that I’ll not be part of the national team any longer. I’m at a point in my career where I want to cut it back a bit. Now, my focus shifts to other aspects. My club. My foundation. Obviously my family, my wife and my two kids. It was a hard decision to make. For me, the Mannschaft always has been and always will be an affair of the heart. I feel a great deal of pride: what an amazing time it has been, all that we achieved in these twelve years. It was an incomparable experience with so much joy, passion, emotion and togetherness. This two-year old boy, arriving in Germany with hardly more than a ball under his arm, winning the World Championship – I lived my dream. We won so much with the DFB-team. I have seen so many countries and cities, have met so many people, had so many unforgettable moments. It’s been quite a journey. Thanks to the DFB. Thanks to my fellow players. And heartfelt thanks to my coaches: Thank you, Rudi Völler. Thank you, Jürgen Klinsmann. And most of all, thanks Jogi Löw! My appreciation for all the fan support could not be greater. You guys have been amazing! You always kept the faith. You just never wavered, I could always rely on you. This connection has been so important for me. As I leave the Mannschaft, this is what I’ll miss the most: the closeness with the fans. For all and everything: Thank You! ❤️ For the German team, my best wishes. Let’s defend this great title in 2018 and keep this marvelous trophy. Starting today, I’ll keep my fingers crossed – as one more fan of the Mannschaft. Take care. It’s been an honor. your number 10 Poldi ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ #thanks

A photo posted by Lukas Podolski (@poldi_official) on

Part of his post read: wrote: "It was a hard decision to make. For me, the Mannschaft always has been and always will be an affair of the heart. I feel a great deal of pride: what an amazing time it has been, all that we achieved in these twelve years. It was an incomparable experience with so much joy, passion, emotion and togetherness."

It is certainly the end of an era, but as Germany look to recover from Euro 2016 disappointment without Podolski which German youngster could end up filling his boots?

At the moment Germany have a plethora of young attacking talent coming through with the likes of Julian Draxler, Leroy Sane and Julian Brandt all looking to make a big impact on the international stage. 

22-year-old Draxler is the oldest of the three and as a result has the most international experience with 24 caps and two goals including one at Euro 2016. 

The Wolfsburg seems to be emerging as more of a regular in Joachim Low's side but hasn't quite made the impact people would have expected. 

Another player many have high hopes for is new Manchester City signing Leroy Sane, who completed his £37m move from Bundesliga side Schalke earlier this month. 

With just four caps, the 20-year-old winger hasn't had much chance to shine for Germany so far but will be hoping his big money Premier League move is a sign of bigger and better things to come. 

- Germany's Leroy Sane and France's Patrice Evra in actionGermany's Leroy Sane and France's Patrice Evra in action

Bayer Leverkusen wideman Julian Brandt may not have been given the chance to impress at Euro 2016 but the 20-year-old certainly isn't short of talent after becoming the youngest player since Gerd Muller to score in six consecutive Bundesliga matches. 

Currently in contention for a gold medal with Germany's Olympic football team in Brazil, Brandt netted nine times in the Bundesliga after an impressive end to the season. 

While these three players are likely to have bright futures ahead of them, there is another young player in Germany's ranks who has already written himself into football history - Mario Gotze.  

At just 24 Gotze already has 56 caps and 17 senior international goals including  the winner in the 2014 World Cup final against Argentina. 

His record is unlikely to surpass Podolski's but the Borussia Dortmund man's impact for Die Mannschaft has been felt across the globe as he looks to become the next German footballing great. 

Overall, Podolski is a player that will be difficult to replace, but should the likes of Draxler, Sane and Brandt continue their rise then Germany could prove to be an even more dangerous side than they were before. 

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Brandt playing for Germany at Rio 2016 v Fiji

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