Arsenal Transfer News: Gunners Should Keep Lukas Podolski for 2014-15 Season

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistAugust 22, 2014

Arsenal's Lukas Podolski celebrates after winning the English FA Cup final soccer match between Arsenal and Hull City at Wembley Stadium in London, Saturday, May 17, 2014. Arsenal won 3-2 after extra-time. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press

Arsenal are reportedly contemplating selling German forward Lukas Podolski, but the Gunners should keep the World Cup winner at the Emirates beyond the 2014 summer transfer window.

BILD (h/t Metro's Vaishali Bhardwaj) has learned Bundesliga side Wolfsburg are ready to enter the race for the attacker, with Galatasaray having already expressed an interest in signing the player.

Juventus could also be interested, per Gianluca Di Marzio's David Amoyal, opening the door for a potential bidding war between three clubs.

Bhardwaj claims Arsenal could be willing to sell the 29-year-old, who isn't expected to be a starter for the Gunners in 2014-15. Cashing in on a squad player before he starts to lose his transfer value seems like a smart thing to do, but in this case, a sale could backfire tremendously.

Arsenal have struggled with depth in the past few seasons, as several promising campaigns came to a disappointing end due to one or two key injuries. The Gunners have never had issues with talent—other top clubs simply had more bench options to cope with key players missing time.

Arsene Wenger has finally started to address this issue in the summer of 2014, and Arsenal look like they could be serious candidates for the 2014-15 Premier League title. Alexis Sanchez will play a huge role in the team's attacking plans, and a healthy Olivier Giroud can still be a very effective player.

Joel Campbell, Podolski and Yaya Sanogo are the main options to provide depth up front, with Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain likely playing a much larger role for the squad out wide.

Sang Tan/Associated Press

Podolski has also seen most of his minutes in a wide role, but unlike most of his teammates, he has the versatility to fit into a variety of attacking positions without losing much of his effectiveness.

There's no denying more was expected from the German international's Arsenal career. Widely regarded as one of the world's most exciting attacking talents when he joined the Gunners in 2012, he failed to truly establish himself as the next Premier League super striker.

Two years later, the Gunners appear to be ready to move on. Bleacher Report's James McNicholas believes the presence of Campbell could speed up Podolski's departure:

The presence of Joel Campbell in the squad is another threat to Podolski's position. Wenger may decide there is only room for one left-sided striker in his 25-man squad. In that case, sticking with the younger man may make more sense. Podolski earns a hefty salary in London and could swiftly become little more than a very expensive reserve.

Campbell is one of the Premier League's most exciting young talents, but while his early performances for the club have been promising, how he will adapt to the highly competitive English league remains an unknown.

Wenger knows what Podolski can do. The German has plenty of experience on the highest level, and as a squad player, he still holds a lot of value. He proved how important he can be for the club at the end of last season, scoring several vital goals when the Gunners needed them the most.

Podolski is still a very good finisher who can weigh on a defence, and he can slide into the most advanced role and replace Giroud if needed. The Frenchman isn't particularly injury prone, but with the relatively unproven Sanogo as the only other real striker in the squad, keeping Podolski around would provide Wenger with a safety net.

Value is the key here, and given the frankly ridiculous prices some clubs have paid for talent in the 2014 summer window, it's unlikely the Gunners will receive a large enough transfer fee that would justify moving the club's most experienced forward.

Teams aren't going to pay more than £10 million for Podolski, and in today's market, such a fee won't find the club a quality replacement before the end of the transfer window.

The Gunners finally have the depth to compete with the very best—now is not the time to jeopardise that depth.