Wojciech Szczesny has joked that he’ll definitely be greeting Lukas Podolski in Polish when the pair meet at pre-season training after Euro 2012.
Arsenal’s new signing, who has 95 caps for Germany under his belt since making his debut for Die Mannschaft as a 19-year-old, famously rejected the chance to play for Poland, despite being born in Gliwice in the country’s south.
Still mourned from Warsaw to Gdansk as a major loss for Polish football, Podolski admitted last year for the first time that he’d have jumped at the chance to represent the country of his forefathers if he hadn’t been ignored by their Football Association when he was a teenager in the German under-21 side.
Speaking to Sport Magazine on the subject of his new teammate’s national affiliation, Szczesny confirmed he’d be greeting Podolski in his mother tongue and confirmed he believed the striker should be lining up next to him when the White Eagles kick-off Euro 2012 next month.
“Oh Polish – 100 per cent,” said the Pole, making clear he’d tackle the controversy head on.
“Definitely, don’t joke about it. I think we all realise he’s more Polish than German.
“He plays for Germany – we have to respect that. He’s played 90-odd games for them, but we’re disappointed because he is one of the best players in the world.
“We’d be delighted if he was playing for Poland, which he should do.
“When he comes to Arsenal, he’ll definitely be greeted as one of the Polish lads in the squad!”
It remains to be seen whether Lukas Fabianski will be around to share in the joke come July, although with Laurent Koscielny already treated as a compatriot by the Arsenal No 1, it looks as though Szczesny is certainly on the hunt for new recruits to his gang.