Statistically, Lukas Podolski has enjoyed a fantastic first season in English football. He has managed 12 goals and 10 assists in just 27 starts: a fantastic return for a wide player.
Despite this impressive form, the German forward has seen himself marginalised in recent weeks. With Arsene Wenger adopting a more conservative approach, Podolski has been the man sacrificed and relegated to the substitutes' bench.
The German’s frustration has been matched by that of the fans, who want to see their summer signing unleashed on Premier League defences as frequently as possible.
Although Podolski has been suffering with a long-term ankle problem, there has been a growing sense among supporters that Arsenal's manager has grown reticent to use such a forward-thinking winger at a time when Arsenal have been defensively vulnerable.
It’s interesting that it is during this period out of the team that transfer stories about Podolski’s future have begun to emerge. The player has been linked by The Sun with the likes of Juventus and Atletico Madrid.
Since then, Podolski has moved to deny the rumours. However, the German will know his hand has been strengthened by these transfer stories.
Podolski will hope the rumoured interest will serve to remind Arsene Wenger of his calibre, and prompt an immediate recall to the Arsenal side. Podolski will want to be starting games regularly, ideally in the Champions League, if he is to commit his long-term future to the club.
The amount he is picked between now and May, as well as Arsenal's success in overhauling Tottenham, will define Podolski's destiny.