The transfer window always throws up some odd rumours… Radamel Falcao to Liverpool? Don’t make me laugh! Carlos Tevez to West Ham? Really?!?! Lukas Podolski to swap Arsenal for Everton? Erm… Maybe!
As odd as reports of the German heading from North London to Merseyside may seem on the surface, such a deal makes some sense when given consideration. Okay, the finances involved may be tricky, but with the Premier League’s new TV deal in place, who knows what the Toffees are capable of? They paid £28m for Romelu Lukaku last summer…
So, here are FIVE reasons we at FFC Towers think this bizarre rumour may not be so daft…
A Bundesliga champion, FA Cup winner, German Cup winner and World Cup champion, Podolski has a decent medal collection and has proven that he can contribute in the biggest tournaments. Although his spells with bigger clubs – Bayern and Arsenal – have not been truly inspiring, he has the know-how nonetheless.
Everton, as a whole, are a relatively inexperienced side at the highest level, so perhaps having a proven winner alongside some emerging talents could be wise… even if the Samuel Eto’o experiment is one they’re still trying to forget at Goodison Park.
Podolski’s career has been summed up by impressing out of the limelight before failing to live up to the billing on the biggest stage. Prior to his first ‘mega transfer’ to Bayern Munich in 2006, the forward had been the talisman for 1.FC Koln, firing an average of a goal every other game for the small-time German side. That form was not replicated with the Bavarians, whom he instead failed to truly inspire for – he even spent some time in their ‘B’ team – before re-joining Koln in 2009. Another impressive stint led to another big chance at Arsenal, and, you guessed it, he’s failed to truly live up to his potential.
Perhaps, the, Podolski thrives when he’s the focal point of a smaller team… a big fish, in a small pond. No disrespect to Everton, but the Toffees are not a giant of the English game and are more akin with Koln than Arsenal or Bayern.
Despite his role in Germany’s World Cup triumph and a lack of strikers at the Emirates Stadium following an early-season Olivier Giroud injury, Podolski was not looked to as a centre-forward or wide attacker with any sort of regularity by Arsene Wenger over the opening stages of the campaign.
The decision to ship him out on loan to Inter Milan reflected his lack of importance within the Gunners’ ranks, and with the likes of Alexis Sanchez firing and Mesut Ozil coming good, the path looks blocked.
After being pretty brutally axed by Wenger, one would think that Podolski has a point to prove. The German is, after all, still a household name and is thought of highly by fans both within German football and the English game, so perhaps the chance to play regularly for a decent side like Everton could stoke the fire in his belly.
One of Podolski’s great gifts is his versatility. His finishing prowess makes him a centre-forward option, his work-rate and positioning mean he’s able to play as a winger or inside forward from wide, while he’s, perhaps, most adept in a role just off a main striker, where his link-up play and movement are valuable assets.
Roberto Martinez typically operates with a 4-3-3/4-2-3-1 system, and Podolski could occupy many positions within the set-up.