Inter Milan manager Roberto Mancini has praised the attitude of Lukas Podolski despite a lack of form in Serie A but claims he wants to return to Arsenal when his loan spell ends.
The German World Cup winner appeared surplus to requirements at the Emirates Stadium during the first half of the 2014-15 campaign, making just seven substitute appearances in the Premier League under manager Arsene Wenger, before being permitted to move to Italy until the end of the season.
But while the former Bayern Munich striker may have harboured hopes of resurrecting his stuttering career with the Nerazzurri, in reality he has shown preciously little to suggest that he is capable of recapturing the sort of form that saw him feared during two separate spells with FC Koln and also earned him 123 senior international caps.
A rather bleak record of no goals in 12 league outings for Inter has not endeared him to supporters and Podolski was even voted as one of the Italian top-flight's worst signings of the winter transfer window in a poll conducted by Milan-based daily Gazzetta dello Sport in March.
Despite his lack of success, though, Mancini has stressed the need for patience with regards to signings who may take time to acclimatise to new surroundings as well as acknowledging that, unlike fellow January arrival Xherdan Shaqiri, Podolski is unlikely to stay at Inter given his obvious desire to return to his parent club.
"In Italy, we have a habit of not being able to wait," he was quoted as saying by Sky Sports when questioned regarding the similar struggles endured by Shaqiri ahead of Inter's visit to Udinese on 28 April.
"Not everything can be done quickly, especially when moving from one country to another, from one club to another. The same applies to Podolski who I consider a great player and a great professional. That situation is a little different though, because he is on loan and wants to return to Arsenal."
Arsenal are the third-highest scorers in the Premier League with 63 goals from 33 games so far this term, yet they lacked a cutting edge and registered just one shot on target during the 0-0 draw with Chelsea.
Alexis Sanchez has notched 22 goals in all competitions since arriving from Barcelona in July 2014, while striker Olivier Giroud has added 18 and Aaron Ramsey nine.
Podolski is unlikely to add an extra scoring punch upon his likely return, yet Wenger may be left with no option but to utilise his remaining talent given his current deal is not due to expire until 2016.
A permanent exit should not be ruled out, although at this stage it is difficult to ascertain if there is any serious interest in the player's signature with links to Turkish outfit Galatasaray having seemingly fizzled out over recent months.