Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski has admitted that he's far form happy with the peripheral role he's been handed so far this season, revealing that he wants showdown talks with the Gunners boss before making a decision over his long-term future.
Podolski has played just 36 minutes in the Premier League so far this season, with a solitary start in all competitions coming in the League Cup. The 120-cap international is adamant he loves London and shares a special bond with the Arsenal faithful, but without regular first-team football that won't be enough to keep him at the Emirates next year.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger intimated at Arsenal's annual general meeting last week that Podolski has been on the fringes of the first-team due to his World Cup exploits, but the clinical forward only played 54 minutes in the entirety of that tournament.
The 29-year-old is rightly concerned by his lack of opportunities over the last two months and is seeking clarification from Wenger that more opportunities to feature for Arsenal in big matches are on the horizon.
January exit continues to look likely
The popular figure in the Arsenal dressing room told SportBild: "I have a contract with Arsenal until 2016. I feel at home in London and get on with the fans very well."
"Nevertheless, I will try to speak with the coach and the club to see what is best for all parties.
"I want to play football and am not the type to sit on the bench until my contract expires."
Despite scoring consistently when fit across two full seasons in the Premier League Podolski is no stranger to being sat on the bench by Wenger, largely because the Gunners boss likes to play Santi Cazorla in his preferred advanced role on the left-hand side.
Summer move for Sanchez further complicates matters
As if fighting Cazorla to start wasn't enough for Podolski to deal with Wenger went out and spent £35m on Alexis Sanchez on the summer, a Chilean superstar who has been handed that coveted left-wing role so far this season.
Podolski is still on a whopping £100,000-a-week contract that runs for another 18 months, a salary that's very difficult for Arsenal to justify for any back-up option no matter how experienced at the highest level.
Wenger is far from short of attacking options, although Gunners fans will rightly point out that there are few in the first-team who have Podolski's ruthless streak or lethal left foot when it comes to taking chances in the final third.
Don't be surprised if Wenger decides to reinvest Podolski's wages on a defensive option when the January transfer window opens, but until that moment arrives the prolific social media man has just over two months to change his mind and win back his place in the side.
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