Ismail Jakobs is looking to get his name known by childhood hero and Cologne legend Lukas Podolski. - © imago images/DFL
Ismail Jakobs is looking to get his name known by childhood hero and Cologne legend Lukas Podolski. - © imago images/DFL
bundesliga

"I hope Lukas Podolski knows my name" - Cologne's Ismail Jakobs

Germany U21 international Ismail Jakobs is looking to make a name for himself at Cologne, just like his idol and legend at his boyhood club, Lukas Podolski.

"There is only one answer: Lukas Podolski," said Jakobs when asked by Kicker about who his idol was growing up.

Podolski made 181 appearances across two spells for Cologne, scoring 86 goals for his beloved hometown club. The Billy Goats have since retired the 2014 FIFA World Cup winner's No.10 shirt - a huge statement of their affection for him. Jakobs, emerging as a leader of Cologne's next generation, grew up adoring Poldi, just like many Cologne fans.

"There are few people who don't like him, but he's just a great guy," Jakobs said of the forward who also turned out for Bayern Munich, Arsenal and Inter Milan at the height of a glittering career. "He's had a great journey and is a role model for me. Just the fact that the No.10 is no longer available at Cologne shows what a legend he is."

Jakobs, now 21, has been at Cologne since he was a child and burst onto the Bundesliga scene last season, with two goals and two assists from the left-hand side of the Billy Goats' attack - not to mention the countless yards he put in tracking back to help his team defensively.

A left-back turned winger, Jakobs is also eligible for Senegal but made his debut for Germany's U21 team in September, and will be in action at international level again this month in a European Championship qualifier against Wales, with Stefan Kuntz's side on the brink of qualification for next summer's tournament in Hungary and Slovenia.

Watch: Podolski's best Bundesliga goals!

Jakobs was rewarded for his impressive maiden campaign by being given a new number at Cologne for the 2020/21 campaign, switching from 38 to 8. It may signify his growing importance for Cologne, but childhood hero Podolski had already come across him some time ago.

"I think I was 13 [when Jakobs first met Podolski] and he was on the pitch with us one day so I got a picture with him," Jakobs said. "I think he knows my name. At least I hope so!"