Monday 20th April 2009 – Andrey Arshavin shows English football what he can do by scoring four goals against Liverpool at Anfield to dent their title chances. Fast forward to 2012 and Arshavin is an unwelcome sight to Arsenal fans. His lusterless performances and disinterested figure had made him a distant shadow of his former self. Sent out on loan to his former club Zenit Saint Petersburg and expected to never return to North London. However, Arséne Wenger has recently hinted that there might still be a future for Andrey at the club.
“With Arshavin, it depends, we have to sit together and talk. He could still have a future at the club.”
It’s not a surprise that Wenger is thinking of giving Arshavin another shot at becoming a success at the Emirates, after all, he was one of the most desired players just 3 years ago after his impressive Euro 2008. If the Arsenal boss needed more convincing that there is still life in the Russian, all he needed to do was watch at Arshavin at Euro 2012 where again he played a vital part in his country’s progress. Even with the criticism from some Arsenal fans, there are still a few that have a special fondness of the “Meerkat”. His cheeky smile and early displays have somewhat imprinted itself into the hearts of the Arsenal faithful, which has perhaps earned him more time than the likes of Nicklas Bendtner, Park Chu-Young and Sébastien Squillaci whom Wenger has confirmed to be leaving.
One question left unanswered is where does Andrey Arshavin fit in? The ever increasing likelihood of at least two more midfielders arriving at Arsenal this summer and calls for the old, tried and tested 4-4-2 formation to be reinstated at the club which shuns Arshavin from playing in his preferred position of the roaming #10 role, but with the new signings that Arsenal have brought in; it’s almost impossible for an ageing 31 year-old to claim a first team place. Although if in the right frame of mind, Andrey Arshavin could definitely play a part in Arsenal’s campaign.
With Robin van Persie seemingly heading his way out of the Emirates; it could possibly make way for Arshavin to breakthrough once again. He can provide assists and chip in with a few goals as we well know.
It’s a certain that Andrey Arshavin has immense quality when played in his favoured position, and still has the ability to prove his critics wrong. Le Professeur is one man whom you cannot question when it comes to decisions on players, and I for one, desperately hopes he can return Andrey Arshavin to his 2009 form.
You can watch some of Arshavin’s magic for Arsenal below:
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