Inter Milan forward Lukas Podolski says he knew his Arsenal days were numbered when he was dropped for the Premier League clash against Newcastle United on December 13, which came just days after his two-goal salvo and man-of-the-match performance versus Galatasaray in the Champions League.
The Germany international left the Emirates Stadium in favour of a loan move to Serie 'A', in the hope of securing more regular first-team football under Roberto Mancini in Italy.
Podolski's departure had been rumoured for some time having rarely featured for the Gunners this term, with Arsene Wenger preferring to play several other attack-minded players ahead of the 29-year-old in 2014/15.
The £11 million signing from Cologne admitted that the past few months have been among the most frustrating of his career, but he's determined not to look back negatively on his time in north London despite the fact the recent treatment he's received has been unfavourable.
"I was happy at the club - I played 82 games and scored 31 goals plus assists," said Podolski in an interview with The Sun. "That's not bad.
"But when you don't get a chance you cannot show what you can do — and the last five months I hardly played.
"Wenger said to me I was the best finisher at the club. Let me play, then. I don't say I should have played every game. When you have three games in a week and sit all of them on the bench, this is not fair."
He added: "If you always play ten or 15 minutes, you can show nothing. I was coming on at either 0-0 or 2-0 or 3-0 down.
"My team-mates were asking me what was going on, but this is the life of a footballer.
"The big moment was after the Champions League game. I knew I had to move" - Lukas Podolski
"The big moment was after the Champions League game. I played a very good game against Galatasaray and then I was on the bench again. I knew I had to move."
Reports emerged at the turn of the year that Podolski had stormed out of Arsenal training at London Colney and faked injury in the build-up to the New Year's Day clash with Southampton at St Mary's in an attempt to force a January transfer, but the likeable German denies those rumours after insisting his thigh problem was genuine.
"I had a muscle injury for two or three weeks," he explained. "It was not getting better and I had to stop. I had problems with the hamstring and I trained inside with the fitness coach. I could not go to Southampton.
"Maybe Wenger thought something was up but it was not in my interests to go."
Despite the Arsenal outcast's claims a move to Inter did transpire and Podolski made his debut in the 1-1 draw with Juventus on Tuesday, and he's set to make his bow at the San Siro when Mancini's men take on Genoa on Sunday.
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