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Bierhoff: Podolski needs to find club happiness

Lukas Podolski

Germany forward Lukas Podolski must find the club that keeps him happy, international team manager Oliver Bierhoff said.

Podolski, 29, faces an uncertain future at club level, as his loan spell at Inter ends in the off-season, although he has not ruled out a return to Arsenal - he has been owned by the Londoners since 2012.

Ahead of a friendly with Australia, and a Euro 2016 qualifier with Georgia, Bierhoff said the Poland-born attacker's happiness was key in the hunt for Podolski's next club.

"Generally, it is part of the way we handle things, part of our idea that we help out our players who are struggling," Bierhoff said.

"Lukas Podolski really has contributed a lot in the national team over the last couple of years, so if he is living [with] a tough team, we are there for him. He certainly has the potential and the quality. 

He added: "Lukas is a player who needs space, who lives from his movements. As an offensive force, it is really important for him to have some confidence. 

"So it has been a huge and a difficult step at the same time. He came to a team that struggles as well and that has not found itself. 

"I am really convinced that Lukas can find back his strength if he regains his confidence, if he feels the confidence of the coach and the team and if he finds the joy. Whether Inter will be the place for that is difficult to estimate. 

"According to the Italian newspapers, it will be difficult. 

"But when Lukas chooses his next club, it is very important that he has a great feeling. The role of the club in its league or its reputation is not that important, but that he finds back the joy." 

In contrast, defender Shkodran Mustafi has had a whirlwind year of late, playing 23 of 28 games for Valencia to help them into third in La Liga - having been a part of Germany's World Cup-winning squad in Brazil.

The 22-year-old said he has not had much time to reflect on his recent achievements, only that he looks forward. 

"I talked a lot about the last year and the last couple of months recently. Well, you need some time to realise. Everything happened so fast, sometimes I wondered: What did just happen?" Mustafi said. 

"There have always been some important decisions whether they were positive or negative. But I never had much time to figure it out what had just happened. 

"And after some time you have to go on but still you are busy: I am back training and playing with my club, I have to think about the next match all the time. 

"When you have some leisure time you think a bit about the past. 

"But the last year that has been incredibly successful for me is in the past now. I want to move on. I have new goals with Valencia and with the national squad."

Tags: Arsenal vs West Ham United | Bordeaux vs Reims | Stoke City vs Liverpool | Toulouse FC vs Saint Etienne

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