Germany international striker, Lukas Podolski, has issued a classy and thoughtful message to Arsenal fans following his switch to Galatasaray last week. The 30-year-old forward recently posted on his Twitter account: “Over the last three years I’ve had the pleasure of working with some amazing people at Arsenal, I want to thank everyone from all the staff behind the scenes to the manager & my team mates, who have all helped make London a second home to me.”
“To the fans… The Best fans in England,” Podolski went on, “who have supported myself and the team no matter what, you will forever hold a special place in my heart and I will forever be a Gunner! I am confident that next season the team will be challenging for that league title and I will be watching on as a fan! COYG.”
While Podolski made 42 total appearances during his first season in north London (scoring 16 goals in the process), the German’s playing time on the pitch dwindled over the last year-and-a-half with the Gunners, and he was subsequently loaned out to Inter Milan.
Despite the fact that his minutes dwindled over time, Podolski remained a fan favorite among Arsenal fans due to his positive attitude and loyalty to the club. Last year, the forward responded to reports suggesting that he may move to crosstown rival Tottenham Hotspur by tweeting: “Hell would freeze over before this transfer would happen. #AlwaysAGunner #NeverCheatYourClub #AFC.” Podolski also suggested earlier in 2014 that he’d rather retire than play for Tottenham.
Although Podolski’s time in Arsenal colors was somewhat short-lived, the German’s exit to receive more playing time is widely understood by both Arsenal fans and the player himself. The new Galatasaray forward told German media outlet Bild, “After talking openly to Arsene Wenger, I came to the conclusion that it would be best for me to make a move.”
“Every player that wants to play at Euro 2016 needs to play,” said Podolski. “We would surely not be world champions if we had started the tournament with 20 players that don’t get to play regularly at their club.”
Podolski’s understanding of the situation and upbeat outlook is certainly refreshing in the sports world. At a time when many players would be outraged or resentful in a similar instance, the German handled his transfer with class and respect.
The German international will get his chance to prove his worth to his new Turkish club, when Galatasaray have their first friendly of the pre-season against Czech Republic side FC Vysočina Jihlava on July 11th.
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