Birthday Boys- Lorenzo Insigne and Lukas Podolski


In today’s edition of the Birthday Boys we explore the career’s of Napoli’s magician Lorenzo Insigne and ex-Arsenal and Koln forward Lukas Podolski.

Lorenzo Insigne


The Italian wideman turns 29 today and has had a successful career in Italy but, how did Insigne get to a world class standard.

The winger signed his professional contract for Napoli in January 2010 as he moved up through their youth ranks and reached the senior team but, a month later he was loaned out to Cavese until the end of the season. He made ten appearances for the club having no goal involvements.

For the 10/11 season, he would be loaned out again to Foggia where he would have a really bright spell for the club. 33 appearances and scoring 19 goals in that season was an impressive feat for the winger.

The following season would see Insigne out on loan again this time to Serie B side Pescara until the end of the 11/12 season. He would have an impressive goal contribution record for the Italian side. Making 38 appearances that season scoring 20 goals and 14 assists saw the Italian beaming with potential.

Upon his return to Neaples he would be a regular starter for the Serie A team making 94 appearances in all competitions across two seasons managing to score 14 goals and bagging himself 20 assists.

The 14/15 campaign saw the winger suffer a cruciate ligament injury which would see his game time very limited but the Italian still managed to feature in 28 games.

The next two seasons were one of the best for the Italian with his return from injury as he started to display the qualities he’s now renowned for. 15/16 season was marked with 13 goals and ten assists in 42 games. The 16/17 season was his best in his career with the winger scoring 20 goals and getting 11 assists in 49 matches.

In the last three seasons, Insigne has managed to accumulate 120 appearances for Napoli whilst scoring and assisting quite frequently as he continued to perform at the top level.

Internationally, he has managed to appear 34 times for the Italian natioanl team as he has scored seven goals in the process.

He’s managed to get his hands on two trophies in his long career at Napoli with the Serie A team winning the Italian Cup in the 13/14 season and the Italian Supercup in the 14/15 season.

Lukas Podolski


The Polish born striker turns 35 today and has had an amazing career that has spanned over 17 years.

The striker decided to sign for FC Koln’s youth academy from FC 07 Bergheim in the summer of 1995 and made it to the senior team in November 2003 signing his professional contract for Koln.

His first season in the Bundesliga saw him score 10 goals and assist one goal in 20 games as Koln went down into the second tier of German football.

24 goals in 30 games in 2. Bundesliga saw Koln jump straight back into the Bundesliga after Podolski single handedly propelled them back into the top-flight.

The goal scoring record would dry up ever so slightly as he only managed 12 goals in the Bundesliga that season but the striker was on many teams radars.

One of the clubs was German giants Bayern Munich who signed the striker from Koln in the summer of 2006 for £9 million.

Podolski struggled to adapt in Munich as he featured 102 times for Bayern in his three year stint at the club but never managed to get score many goals for the club. He only managed to score 26 goals in those three years in all competitions.

Koln wanted their star striker to return back to them and he did in the summer of 2009 after three years away he was bought back for £9 million.

The first season back in Koln was poor by Podolski as he racked 31 appearances for the club but only managed to score three goals and provide six assists.

The hot form returned for the next two seasons. 14 and 18 goals in the 10/11 and 11/12 season respectively saw the striker beaming with goals again.

Arsenal bit the bullet and signed the striker in the summer of 2012 for £13.5 million to bring the German to the Emirates.

His first season as a Gunner was a good one as he featured a lot in the starting 11. 42 appearances for the London club saw Podolski score 16 goals and assist on 12 ocassions.

An injury ridden 13/14 campaign saw the German fall out of favour at Arsenal managing 40 appearances in the next one and a half seasons as he was loaned out to Inter Milan in January 2015 until the end of the season.

He managed 18 appearances for Inter and was only able to score one goal and provide four assists. His return to Arsenal saw the German shipped out to Galatasaray in the summer of 2015 for £2.25 million.

His debut season in Turkish football was impressive. The striker managed 17 goals in all competitions for the Turkish club. With his second season also seeing him score 17 goals.

Vissel Kobe signed Podolski in the summer of 2017 for £2 million. In his two and a half years in Japan he scored 17 goals and assisted 12 times in 60 appearances.

In the present now and the German signed for Antalyaspor in January 2020 on a free transfer and has appeared in seven matches scoring twice and assisting twice in all competitions.

130 appearances for the German national team and 49 goals for his nation sees him as one of the best players the German’s had in their ranks as they won the World Cup in 2014.

He’s won a fair few trophies in his time as a player. With Koln he won the second division title, with Bayern he won the treble (Bundesliga, German Supercup and German Cup), with Arsenal he won the Community Shield and the FA Cup, with Galatasaray he won the Turkish Supercup twice and with Vissel Kobe he won the Japanese Cup.


About Author

EFL/EPL and F1 writer. @AdrianKitaMedia on Twitter for any comments regarding my pieces on Prost International.

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