Inter Milan boss Roberto Mancini has dumped more misery on on-loan Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski, after admitting publicly that the Germany international must do more.
The 29-year-old has looked out of sorts in Italy since opting to leave the Gunners last summer to find first-team football, and his fortunes took another battering during the recent Serie A match between Inter and Fiorentina - a match Inter lost 1-0.
During the clash Podolski took one of the worst set-pieces he’ll have ever attempted, and Mancini perhaps provided an insight into his future plans for the player post-match.
"Podolski must give more, so it is not enough and he is the first to know that," Mancini said, as relayed by Goal.
"Podolski must give more, so it is not enough and he is the first to know that"
With Inter having signed Bayern Munich’s Xherdan Shaqiri in January it looks as though they’ve got Podolski’s favoured position sewn up for the foreseeable future, making it unlikely that he will be transferred to the San Siro on a permanent basis come the summer. At the moment Arsene Wenger’s squad doesn’t look to be any worse off for not having him, posing the question as to where he might end up.
Natural assumptions would point perhaps towards a Bundesliga return, with there no doubt being a host of clubs ready to recruit a World Cup winner looking to revive his reputation. Meanwhile there’s sure to be other options on the table, though his wages of around £100,000-a-week could put off certain would-be suitors.
There’s a case to be made for his return to the Arsenal fold, given that he is an established name who can provide good backup. With Wenger looking to grow his team into title-challengers he’ll need players of such pedigree and calibre throughout his subs’ bench as well as his starting XI, although Podolski looks far from happy to play a bit-part role.
Given his advancing years it’s far-fetched to declare that he’s going to be poached by any of Europe’s giants, but all things considered the ex-Bayern Munich man is a proven talent at the top level, and so willing teams aren’t likely to be in short supply. With regards to Inter, who continues to struggle as they seek to climb back up the rankings, it doesn’t look good.
Arsenal fans, do you think Podolski should be given another chance to impress at the Emirates Stadium, or would Arsene Wenger be right to offload him and use the spare budget to find an adequate replacement? Let us know in the comments box below...