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The German international’s three-year spell in North London came to an end last weekend as his move to Turkish outfit Galatasaray was made official.
Podolski was somewhat of a firm fan favourite during his time with the Gunners and Wenger told the club’s official website that he allowed the forward to leave because regular first team football at the Emirates could not be guaranteed:
“Lukas Podolski played in a position that is congested because we have so many wide players or players who can play wide,” the Frenchman said.
“I felt that the opportunities for him to play with the stature a player has, he needed to go somewhere and play.”
“I believe it’s a good move for him because if Lukas has confidence and trust from the manager, he has the potential and the talent. I was not sure I could give that to him here,” Wenger added.
Podolski found himself frozen out of the team at start of last season and finished the campaign on-loan at Serie A giants Inter Milan, but failed to make much of an impact in Italy as he scored just once in 17 league appearances.
He did have a good goalscoring record for the Gunners as he found the back of the net 16 times in all competitions during his debut season, including a stunning volley in the Champions League group game against Ligue 1 outfit Montpellier.