'Podolski can still win over Inter fans'

The forward has failed to impress since joining the club on a loan deal until the end of the season, having failed to score or make an assist in eight appearances

Inter legend Giuseppe Bergomi believes Lukas Podolski can still play a crucial role for the club in the end of season run in and win over supporters who have criticised his recent displays.

The forward joined the Serie A side from Arsenal on a six-month loan deal in January but is yet to score or make an assist in the eight league games he has played so far.

The Germany international’s underwhelming start to life at San Siro has seen him come in for criticism from supporters, but Bergomi believes he can still win their respect.

“In Milan, it is in the psyche of the supporters not to hesitate to criticise a player,” he told Kicker. “They immediately expect more from such an experienced player.

“If Lukas shows a bit more character and heart in the next games, the Inter fans will reward it with applause. I’m sure he has what it takes to become crucial at Inter for the remainder of the season.

“In the 1-0 defeat to Fiorentina on Sunday, Podolski played in a 4-3-1-2 as a second striker, and this is not his ideal position. The coach then turned around after 30 minutes and pulled him to the left.

“Although he didn’t have a good game, he’s not the only one there. The midfield and defence were poor. He is at a team still developing after a change in coach and in players.”

The 29-year-old was voted the second worst January signing in Serie A behind AC Milan’s Alessio Cerci in a poll ran by Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport earlier this week.

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