Being brandished a player with incredible ability and potential may be fantastic for one’s self-confidence. But with such praise, criticism does come easily and sometimes the greatest of players will crumble and fade away when they are tipped as a world-class talent of the game. You’ve seen it all before – your one-season wonders, the young starlets dubbed world-beaters after merely a few games. Yet very few will ever realise the potential they supposedly have, with the majority destined to collect dust as a back-shelf alternative. It’s not always the player’s fault – a tyrannous managerial reign may demand a mass exodus or injury could take its toll.Generally though, few players can maintain supreme quality for the most part of their career and there will always be patches where those formerly seeing the net bulge on the European stage are struggling in the depths of mediocrity.We look at five players in particular who, although once remarkable talents, have been practically forgotten.
#1 Lukas Podolski
Köln to Arsenal. Arsenal to Inter. Inter to Galatasaray. Many believed that when Lukas Podolski, bolstering one of the sharpest eyes for goal in world football, made the switch to North London in 2012, he would remain a key fixture in the Gunners setup for years to come. How wrong such predictions turned out to be.
As Arsene Wenger’s side continued to search desperately for the striking solution that could hand them a title, the German forward remained a solid choice up top and always seemed to find the net when it counted most. After helping Germany lift the World Cup in 2014, the German was eyeing a first-team starting spot. But the arrival of Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona and the emergence of Olivier Giroud as Arsenal’s most sound option going forward left Podolski frustrated at his involvement.
After quoting in November 2014, “Of course, I am not happy with my situation right now. I can't be satisfied with that. It is hard when you can't do what you love,” the former-Bayern forward was evidently unsettled and Arsenal loaned him out to Inter Milan in January this year.
The media were quick to react to Lukas’ transfer, claiming it was poor judgment on Roberto Mancini’s part to bring in the out-of-favour German. He was even voted the Serie A’s second worst signing in a Gazzetta dello Sport poll.
“Podolski must do more,” Mancini had said, as reported in The Independent. “What he's doing is not enough and he's the first to recognise that.”
After returning to the Emirates off the back of a less than fruitful spell in Italy’s top flight, the 3-year-old German moved to Galatasaray, where one would expect his once star-studded career will now rot away.