Andrey Arshavin was the record transfer for Arsenal until Arsene Wenger signed Santi Cazorla from Malaga this summer. He is also thought to be one of the highest paid players at the club. Despite some flashes of the brilliance we all know he is capable of, it is safe to say that his time at Arsenal has been considerably less successful than hoped. Arsenal fans may be glad to hear, then, that his former club, Zenit St. Petersburg, have decided they want him back and will try to buy him back in January.
Many will think that the decision will be easy for Arsene Wenger, but it might not be as simple as that. For one thing, Arshavin may not accept a move back to Russia, as he is said to be very settled in London and is keen for his children to be educated here. Wenger would realistically expect to get no more than £3 million for the player, and probably not even that.
Wenger has already admitted that Arshavin’s best position is as a central attacking midfielder, whereas he has been played mostly on the left flank for the Gunners. He has shown this season that he can still offer some real quality to Arsenal. He helped to force extra time against Reading, and that may turn out to allow Arsenal to end the trophy drought. He could be used as a replacement for Cazorla, who is playing the whole of every game at the minute and could do with a rest.
So maybe it would be worth giving Arshavin a bit of game time, to keep him sharp and to provide some relief for Cazorla. If Arsenal can get a decent lead by half time today, maybe Arshavin could replace Cazorla for the second half. It might also help to increase the value of the Russian to any potential buyer. Can he still be useful to Arsenal, Gooners?