by Nia Griffiths
Lukas Podolski gave his first press conference as a Galatasaray player and has credited the fans with being the main reason he moved.
Speaking after signing a three-year-contract with the Turkish club, Poldi said, “I have followed Galatasaray long. I know that there is a great atmosphere in the stadium.”
He continued, “Galatasaray fans have given me so much attention and are so happy that I have come. It has been a big factor in my decision-making.”
As I said on Saturday, the German has a habit of currying favour with the fans right from the get-go. I’m not naive enough to believe it isn’t a deliberate ploy to cement himself within the club but I’m also not cynical enough to believe he genuinely doesn’t connect with the clubs he signs for. In other words, it’s definitely good PR but not all PR is fake.
He went on to confirm the rumoured interest from Galatasaray last season but explained that it simply wasn’t the right time, “There was also interest from the Turkish club last year,” the forward said. “But that would just not be. He ended up instead in a less successful loan deal at Inter. Galatasaray came with the offer last year. But this year the interest was more intense. My parents encouraged me to change it.”
I do think he perhaps thought, after a loan move to Inter Milan, he could’ve had another chance in the Arsenal first team and when this didn’t work out for him, he realised moving permanently was better for him career – and he’s totally right.