Lukas Podolski has not been named in Inter Milan’s squad for the knockout stages of the Europa League as manager Roberto Mancini preferred Xherdan Shaqiri to the Germany international.
According to UEFA’s Europa League regulations:
“one player from the above quota of three who has been fielded in a UEFA club competition group stage match for another club in the current season may exceptionally be registered, provided that the player has not been fielded a) in the same competition for another club; or b) for another club that is currently in the same competition.”
That meant only one from Podolski, who played for Arsenal in the Champions League group stage, or Shaqiri, who played for Bayern Munich, could be one of the three new names featuring in Inter’s squad.
Mancini has opted for Shaqiri, who has arguably impressed more in his few games since arriving at Inter last month than Podolski.
Inter’s Europa League squad does include their other twi January signings, Davide Santon, who joined on loan from Newcastle on Monday, and George Puscas, who made his Serie A debut in last weekend’s 3-1 defeat to Sassuolo.
Inter will face Celtic in the last 32, with the first leg at Celtic Park on Feb.19 and the return game at the San Siro a week later.
With the Nerazzurri languishing in 13th in Serie A, 13 points adrift of third-placed Napoli, winning the Europa League may be regarded as their best chance of qualifying for the Champions League next season.
What do you think of Mancini’s decision to choose Shaqiri over Podolski?