Lukas Podolski went to Inter in the winter transfer window looking to not just get playing time, but make an impression.
At the time, it looked as if the German winger’s time at Arsenal was coming to an end, but now it looks as if he could come trudging back to the Emirates when his loan expires. Podolski told Bild that his loan to Inter “does not include a buy option,” at his request because “you never know what to expect from a loan.”
“The chapter is not closed with Arsenal, because there is no purchase option,” Podolski said. “I was the first person to clear things up in the talks with Inter and say I didn’t want any kind of redemption clause. When you’re on loan you never know what can happen, so at the end of the season we’ll analyse things freely and decide the situation.”
Inter manager Roberto Mancini has joined the party criticizing the 29-year-old for his lack of production, saying a week ago, “Podolski must do more. What he’s doing is not enough and he’s the first to recognize that.”
“I’m not a guy who likes to break down in minute detail what happens when I play. People who are hyper-critical aren’t going to send me into some sort of panic. I don’t regret going to Inter at all, but maybe a different question has to be asked over whether moving in mid-season leaves enough time to settle or whether a different League would have been better for me. At Inter there have been some negative situations, but I see the bright side in all of it. Also, it’s generally easier to criticize someone who comes on loan, as I did this winter.”
Podolski so far at Inter has yet to score, and has just one assist that came back in January. He’s made eight league appearances, but has played the full 90 minutes just twice, and was benched for their most recent game, a big league match at Napoli that finished 2-2. The game before that, he was taken off in the 65th minute with Inter trailing Fiorentina by a goal at home.
While he’s getting more playing time than he did at Arsenal, Podolski is going to need to pick up the pace soon, or he’ll find himself back at the Emirates having done little to improve his position before the loan. Arsenal fans will be glad to have their favorite Podolski back this summer, but if he does return, they’ll want more production on the field as well.