Mon. Oct 26th, 2020

Podolski set to join Antalyaspor from Vissel Kobe

2 min read

The 34-year-old, who left Japanese J-League club Vissel Kobe at the end of his contract, will sign an 18-month deal with the side from Antalya

Former Arsenal strike Lukas Podolski has agreed a deal in principle to join Turkish Super Lig side Antalyaspor.

The 34-year-old, who left Japanese J-League club Vissel Kobe at the end of his contract, will sign an 18-month deal with the side from Antalya.

The deal is expected to be completed on Sunday with a formal unveiling held in Turkey on Monday.

Podolski spent two years playing in the Super Lig with Galatasaray between 2015-17 before leaving for Japan.

Before that, he spent two-and-a-half years at Arsenal, where he was a member of the Gunners 2014 FA Cup winning team. The last six months of his Arsenal contract were spent on loan at Inter Milan.

His time in North London coincided with the most significant moment of his career, when he played a small part in Germany’s successful 2014 World Cup campaign in Brazil.

He was best known at Arsenal for his finishing ability, with his powerful shots having been recorded at speeds of 160km/h.

“He’s certainly one of the best finishers I’ve ever seen,” said his manager Arsene Wenger in 2012. “If there’s one you want to see in front of the goal in a shooting position, it’s him.”

Rumours had circulated throughout the Germany international’s time in Japan that he would eventually look to make a return to Europe.

In 2019, it had been thought that he would make a comeback at former club Koln.

“Why not? I still dare to play in the Bundesliga,” Podolski said. “I’m healthy and I feel completely fit and I want to play for a few more years.”

He had also spent time with Bayern Munich, making 106 appearances for the German giants.

He joins an Antalyaspor side that are 16th in the Turkish Super Lig and in a fight to stave off relegation from the top flight.

The club last won the title in 1986 and are currently a point adrift of safety.

They have been in the top division since being promoted as champions in 2015, and last season finished comfortably in mid-table.

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