Andrey Arshavin, remember him?
Tubby little fella, infectious laugh, cheeky grin, arrived in London hanging on the coattails of a blizzard, impish baller turned saggy sub, smacked four past Liverpool one barmy night in April 2009? Yeah you know the one…
Well according to the Evening Standard he’s thinking about hanging up his boots this summer despite the fact he’s only 32.
It seems an extreme decision, but then things haven’t really gone to plan for the man Arsene Wenger signed from Zenit St Petersburg over four years ago. A marquee signing if ever there was one at the Emirates his career now more closely resembles a tent swallowed by a hurricane.
A near ever present in his first couple of years in London, despite erratic form, he never seemed to get to grips with the physicality and pace of the Premier League (all that running around and whatnot) and was eventually reduced to the bench last season before retreating to the sanctity of his hometown on loan with Zenit.
Having won the Russian title while in St Petersburg it was firmly believed that Arshavin would make a permanent switch to the Petrovsky Stadium in the summer. Alas, following a below-par Euro 2012 – and some ill-advised comments about his country’s fans – he found himself an isolated figure and returned to a pre-season at Arsenal with little chance of regaining a first team place.
This term Arshavin has started two Premier League games, lost his place in the Russian national team under management from Fabio Capello and reportedly rejected the chance to move to Reading in January despite the Royals lodging an accepted £1 million bid. Complications in his private life have further compounded his misery.
While it is not confirmed that Arshavin will be retiring when his contract with Arsenal ends this summer it does look as though he’s given up on any semblance of a career at the highest level. A man who courted Barcelona, made Zenit a household name, wowed the crowds at Euro 2008 and captured the imagination of Gooners worldwide with flashes of brilliance looks to have given up. It’s a real shame.
Arseblog News lets out a sigh and can’t help but wonder what might have been…