Lukas Podolski Airs Cologne Frustrations, Puts Arsenal Scouts on High Alert

Lukas Podolski Airs Cologne Frustrations, Puts Arsenal Scouts on High AlertLukas Podolski, one of modern soccer’s great paradoxes, could be headed for Arsenal after revealing his frustration with life at German club Cologne. The Daily Mirror reports Arsenal is lining up a bid for the German international. 

“Gunners scouts watched the Cologne star in their defeat to Borussia Monchengladbach on Friday, which confirms the 26-year-old is firmly on [Arsene] Wenger‘s radar as he looks to strengthen his forward line,” the report reads. 

“A bid of around £20 million [$31.2 million] could tempt Cologne to sell, as Podolski is out of contract in 2013.”

Podolski is a prolific goal scorer for Germany, but has largely failed to match those feats at club level. The 26-year-old forward has scored an impressive 43 goals in 95 appearances for Germany. He has split his time at club level between his hometown club Cologne and German giant Bayern Munich.

His displays in his debut season (2003-04) in the Bundesliga earned him rave reviews and a call-up to the German national team. He immediately became a force at the international level and it was not long before a big club came calling.

Podolski joined Bayern Munich after starring at the 2006 World Cup, but never quite settled at the Bavarian club. He was used primarily as a substitute and a spot-starter and never cemented a place in the team. He scored just 15 goals in 71 appearances over three largely frustrating seasons.

The Polish-born forward dramatically and romantically re-joined Cologne in 2009, hoping to power it to better success in European competitions. He netted just three goals in his return season that saw Cologne finish 13th in the league. His fortunes improved in the following campaign, registering 13 goals and seven assists while Cologne finished 10th.

Instability in the boardroom this year has made Podolski consider switching clubs and possibly move abroad.

“Whenever I am with the national team, I always notice people shaking their heads when yet another story emerges from Cologne which has nothing to do with sport,” FIFA.com reports he told German newspaper Die Welt.

“My family and friends may live here and I know every corner of the city, but if I am in top condition, then I think I could fit into any side in Europe,” he said. “I am not forced to stay only in Cologne.”

If Arsenal moves for him in January, he would add experience, versatility and quality to Arsene Wenger’s forward corps. The Gunners can afford the reported fee if they move for him in January, but may wait until the summer when his price would drop into Wenger’s range.

Photo via Flickr/LizNN7

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