Late this week a strange transfer rumor surfaced - that Arsenal were looking to offload striker/winger Lukas Podolski, and that he may spend the season on loan at Bundesliga club Schalke 04. It was strange for a couple of reasons; first and foremost, Arsenal don't really need to be losing more players, as the squad is actually a bit thin at the moment behind the first XI. Arsene Wenger has acknowledged this, and it would be a bit odd for him to immediately go back on that and ditch a good player. The other is that Podolski only just came to Arsenal last year - and in his first season at the club, he scored 16 goals in all competitions.
Even if he's not a consistent first team starter, he did make 33 starts out of 42 total appearances last season. And he's well-loved by the team, it appears. So why would he be leaving?
After scoring twice against Fulham, Wenger addressed the rumors.
Everybody in the squad loves Lukas and I want to keep him.
There's been "no interest" in him, Wenger says, and Podolski is important to the team. That sounds pretty definitive to me, especially since the original rumor seemed a bit weird to begin with. Hopefully that puts a lid on that one, and Podolski's here for the season.