Lukas Podolski
Podolski has scored just six goals this season.

Arsenal striker Lukas Podolski has thrown his long-term future at the Emirates Stadium in doubt after claiming he would welcome a return to FC Cologne.

Podolski began his professional career in the German city and has spent two spells at the club either side of playing for Bayern Munich.

The 28 year old joined Arsenal in the summer of 2012 and though he scored 16 goals in his de but season, injury has ruined his second campaign, having made just four starts in the Premier League, an influence which had led to rumours regarding his future.

Reports had suggested that Arsenal could use Podolski in a deal to attempt to sign Julian Draxler from Schalke, a transfer which the club were unable to clinch despite club representatives holding talks with German officials.

Podolski rejected the rumours while manager Arsene Wenger made public his intention to keep hold of the Germany international but the forward has revealed his desire to one day return to his homeland.

"You can't exclude everything in football," Podolski said. "FC [Koln] will be my club always and forever. You never know what's gonna happen in the next years."

With six goals this season, including a crucial strike in the Boxing Day win over West Ham United, Arsenal have benefitted from Podolski this season even if injury has affected his impact and Wenger knows the significance of having someone of his capabilities in his squad.

"Podolski can score goals and when you have a goal chance you want him to have it because he is a clinical finisher," the French boss said.

"He has an unbelievable short and quick backlift and he is very accurate in his finishing.He can score goals when he starts, when he comes on he is always dangerous.

"He is a natural finisher. His performances have been more convincing on the flanks than through the middle as well."