Serie A giants Juventus and Napoli have been linked with a move for transfer rumour magnet Lukas Podolski, along with Bundesliga upstarts Wolfsburg and Turkish club Galatasaray, after the 29-year-old was frozen out of Arsenal’s squad for the 2-2 draw at Everton.
That such an illustrious array of suitors should fight for Podolski’s signature is hardly surprising, considering the former FC Bayern Munchen man’s criminally underappreciated goal-involvement record in the Premier League.
Prior to Arsenal’s clash with Newcastle at the end of April, the Polish-born Germany centurion – who has notched 47 times for his adopted country – had contributed either a goal or an assist every 97 minutes in the Premier League.
That number had only been bettered by Gunners legend Thierry Henry and Manchester City hitman Sergio Aguero in the 22-term history of the competition.
Such company is stellar indeed for a man seemingly behind Yaya Sanogo and Joel Campbell, neither of whom have managed to notch for the north Londoners in 18 combined appearances, in Arsene Wenger’s thoughts.
Podolski’s eight goals and two assists in the top flight last term meant he directly contributed to just a couple of strikes fewer than Santi Cazorla, despite making the first XI less than half as many times as the Spanish attacking-midfielder.
With Olivier Giroud expected to be out until December with an ankle injury, Arsenal’s Champions League play-off round second leg at home to Besiktas – which the hosts are 2/5 to win – seems the ideal time for Wenger to turn to his most experienced and prolific forward.
Instead, the veteran French coach has been accused of trying to ship out Podolski before the transfer window closes early next week, with the Old Lady of Italian football looking the most likely to benefit from this odd development.