Russian international Andrei Arshavin is now an official Arsenal soccer player. The transfer of Arshavin from Zenit St. Petersburg was completed almost 24 hours after the deadline. A transfer amount of $24m has been agreed to by the club, according to some sources in the Premier League.
“He is a versatile player with great experience, who will add real quality to our squad. Andrey is an exciting impact player with a huge amount of ability and has been an influential force with both Zenit St Petersburg and the Russian national team in recent seasons,” manager Arsène Wenger said in a statement.
Arshavin was presented the No.23 jersey in a welcoming ceremony and he signed autographs to waiting fans outside the Emirates Stadium. His transfer is the biggest for Arsenal in the January window and he will be expected to be an ‘influential force’ in the ongoing season.
Arshavin is the captain of the Russian National Soccer team and has scored 15 goals in 41 appearances. He was quite instrumental in Russia’s exceptional performance in Euro 2008. He was also named as the Russian Footballer of the Year in 2005 and 2006 and he led his club Zenit to the UEFA Cup victory against Glasgow Rangers in May last year.
Before Arsenal got interested in the playmaker, other clubs like Liverpool, Everton and Tottenham had tried to talk to him. Although, he will sure be handy during the remaining season, Arshavin will not be eligible to play in the Champions League as he had already played with Zenit in the first leg.