Life for Arsenal was meant to be so much harder for Arsenal when Robin van Persie left.
When the then Gunners captain left for Manchester United, it was made out to be that Arsenal will be left in the dust by the other teams going for Champions League football, but instead, the complete opposite happened.
Arsene Wenger not only led Arsenal to European football but managed to fill the void left by van Persie by bringing in Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski for a combined fee of £22 million, £2 million less than what United had paid to sign van Persie.
Whilst Giroud went on to become a cult hero for the club, Podolski is often forgotten about by Arsenal fans despite having a sizeable impact on the club’s fortunes during his time in north London.
In his three years in the English capital, Podolski made 82 appearances for the club, scoring 31 times for the Gunners and assisting another 17 during his spell with Arsenal.
Largely played as a winger, the German international was a vital player for the Gunners in his first 18 months with the club, being a vital attacker for the team and contributing well in the big games for Wenger’s side, however, injuries kept former Bayern Munich attacker from featuring heavily in the team.
Podolski scored the winning goal for Arsenal in their 2-1 win against Liverpool in their FA Cup quarter-final match that ultimately sent the Gunners on the path to their first piece of silverware in nine years, and the German scored in his first ever North London Derby in a 5-2 win.
Despite having all the qualities to be a top striker, it just didn’t work out for Podolski. Injuries kept the attacker out of the first-team, and in the winter window of 2015, the German was sent out on loan to Inter Milan, and then sold to Galatasaray in the summer.
Since leaving the Premier League, Podolski has found relative success. In Turkey, the attacker became a fan favourite in Istanbul, and his decision to move to the J-League in 2017 has kick-started a Japanese revolution in world football, with players such as Andreas Iniesta, David Villa and Fernando Torres all making the move to Asia.
Podolski might not have made as big an impact as fans would have expected at Arsenal, but the striker still remains a popular figure around the club and a player who supporters will always admire.
Arsenal fans, what is your favourite memory of Podolski at the club? Let us know!
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