Lukas Podolski has been hugely conspicuous by his absence from Arsenal’s starting line-up this term, with the Germany World Cup winner making Arsene Wenger’s XI just once in 22 fixtures so far in 2014/15.
A recent betting plunge at bwin.com suggests the 29-year-old’s bench-warming days could soon be over, in north London at least, with the odds on Podolski making a move to Inter Milan before next season cut from 20/1 to 6/1.
Reacting to the market move, the bookies’ odds guru Glenn Woodage said:
“Lukas Podolski has been quite vocal this season about his lack of first team opportunities, alerting some top European clubs and according to bets taken overnight, none more so than Inter Milan.
“Roberto Mancini’s experience in England gives him a greater understanding of the playing talent available and judging by the movement we’ve seen, a January raid could beckon.”
The Polish-born forward’s cracking sense of humour clearly hasn’t been too badly affected by his marginalisation at the Emirates, judging by this picture prior to the 1-0 win over Southampton:
However, Podolski has used social media to vent his frustrations in recent weeks, in his inimitable way:
The former FC Bayern Munchen and Koln hitman’s record of productivity at Arsenal is better than Wenger’s reticence to play him may lead fans to believe; Podolski struck 12 times in 20 all-competition starts last season.
His real-time goal record in the Premier League outstripped all others within the Gunners ranks during 2013/14, coming in at a per-90-minute rate of 0.62, compared to Theo Walcott’s 0.52, Aaron Ramsey’s 0.51 and Oliver Giroud’s 0.47.
Podolski has even bagged a last gasp Champions League winner this term against Anderlecht, having come off the bench in the 84th minute with his side 1-0 down, so it’s not hard to see why the Nerazzurri and new boss Mancini fancy acquiring his services.