Lukas Podolski must leave Arsenal this summer

Podolski on the fringes at Arsenal

Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski should be more worried than any other Gunners star by last night's 0-0 draw with Manchester United, with the German forward not trusted by Arsene Wenger to make the difference in a pivotal Premier League clash despite being the most likely impact substitute at his disposal.

Podolski has been a peripheral figure at the Emirates this season ever since returning from a four-month spell on the sidelines with a torn hamstring.

The 28-year-old scored on his triumphant return from that injury at West Ham United on Boxing Day, but despite Arsenal's stark lack of trustworthy striking options the German international continues to be largely snubbed by Gunners boss Wenger.

Wenger has flirted with the idea of using Podolski as a central striker but definitely prefers the powerful forward in an advanced position on the left hand side.

Unfortunately for Podolski his fight for a starting spot has proved pretty fruitless in the last two months, with Santi Cazorla and Olivier Giroud very much Wenger's first choice options in both positions.

Last night's drab with with Arsenal laid bare for both Podolski and Arsenal fans that it's time for the maverick to move on this summer, to protect his place at international level and search for an established European club who will make him a prized talent for the remaining peak years of his career.

Wenger was understandably cautious against United last night, but choosing to use just a single substitute when a proven clinical finisher was waiting to make an impact with the game goalless is bordering on negligent.

Podolski is yet to complete 90 minutes in either the Premier League or Champions League this season, despite scoring five times in all competitions when involved.

The German forward is a firm favourite in the Arsenal dressing room but has still not been given a chance to shine despite a hectic recent run of fixtures, a clear indication that it may be time to call it quits at the Emirates.

It is more than bemusing that Podolski was not used late on against United as he is a very different player to any other at the Emirates, possessing a powerful running style and a genuine rocket of a strike he is not afraid to unleash from range.

There are concerns over Podolski's ability to track back and cover on the left flank, but if those reservations are holding the ex-Bayern Munich star back then a Bundesliga return will surely beckon this summer. 

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