Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could not be blamed for dreaming of a switch to Real Madrid, admits Lukas Podolski, with Arsenal facing the threat of suffering a “big loss” in the next transfer window.
Having been a prolific presence throughout his career to date, the Gabonese frontman is said to be attracting admiring glances from afar.
Aubameyang has done little to curb the rumours despite stating his current commitment to the Gunners cause.
His contract in north London is only due to run until 2021, with no extension to that deal agreed as yet.
Arsenal cannot afford to run the risk of seeing another prized asset head towards free agency, with a difficult decision needing to be made when another market opens.
Podolski can appreciate why Aubameyang may be considering a switch to Spain, with the 30-year-old having revealed in the past that he promised his father that he would one day grace the books at Santiago Bernabeu.
“When you have a fantastic season like he had, many clubs are interested,” former Gunners forward Podolski told Sky Sports.
“When a player has a wish to play for a big team or a dream to play in Italy or Spain, or like Aubameyang and his link with Real Madrid...
“If he has a dream to play for this club when he's young, then why not? As a player, you have to take this chance to play for a club like that.
“Of course for Arsenal, it'll be a big loss if they have to sell him but this is the business of football.
“My opinion is you lose a big player, he had a fantastic season with a good scoring record, but you can make money on a player, sell him and you can invest in new players. For a player like me or Aubameyang, when a big club is calling, you always want to have this dream.”
Podolski had important career calls of his own to make when at the peak of his powers, with the decision taken to leave Cologne for Bayern Munich in 2006 and then Arsenal six years later.
When moving to England, the World Cup winner was charged with the task of filling Robin van Persie’s boots.
He was never as prolific as hoped, but did hit 31 goals in 82 appearances and thoroughly enjoyed his time at Emirates Stadium.
Podolski added: “I don't feel stress when I play any game or training or when I join a club. I'm just confident and this was the same at Arsenal.
“When I look back at my stats per game, I think it was OK. I had nearly three fantastic years at Arsenal. It was the first time I was out of Germany but I enjoyed playing at such a big club.”