By Randy Osae
At last, the wanted man has arrived.
Andrei Arshavin has completed his move to Arsenal from Zenit St. Petersburg and penned a 3-and-half-year contract at the Emirates Stadium.
Any follower of January’s biggest transfer soap-opera can not be denied a sigh of relief after numerous twist and turns had stalled this sensational capture.
Arshavin comes as an accomplished Russian veteran, whose career at Zenit had been lavishly decorated – scoring 51 goals in a total of 232 games and won several domestic trophies in Russia, including a recent UEFA Cup and European Super Cup triumph with his side.
The 27-year-old though, will NOT be eligible to participate in Arsenal’s European matches for the remainder of this season, due to his involvement with Zenit earlier in this season’s Champions League which leaves him cup-tied on UEFA rules.
In the traditional welcoming of Arsenal’s new ace, the manager and player himself expressed delight.
Arsène Wenger said: “We are delighted to have signed Andrey Arshavin, he is a player I have admired for a long time. 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.”
New signing Andrei Arshavin said: “I am so happy to be joining Arsenal. They are one of the leading football clubs in the world, with a group of fantastic young players and a great manager. I am looking forward to making the Arsenal supporters happy and helping this great Club win trophies.”