Yes, we’re all very disappointed that Arsenal didn’t make any signings on deadline day. Arsenal fans had their fingers crossed that their club would pull off a ‘special’ signing – the kind of signing that would make the club a title contender this season. Unfortunately, Arsene Wenger and co weren’t really at the races. As a result, this ‘special’ player will have to arise from within the Gunner’s ranks.
Beyond bringing people in, Arsenal fans were also hoping that they’d shift some of the deadweight. To that extent, loaning Nicklas Bendtner to Juventus (what!?) and Park Chu-Young to Celta Vigo was a bit dissatisfactory. Marouane Chamakh is still at the club! Another player still at the club, perhaps surprisingly, is Arsenal’s elusive Russian Andrey Arshavin.
The dimunitive forward was linked with a move back to the Russian league this summer, but it never really came together.
Indeed, most Arsenal fans had their fingers crossed that they’d seen the last of Arshavin. There’s a general feeling that he’s received enough chances at the club and just isn’t motivated enough to perform to the level required in the Premier League. He’s had problems with his fitness and tends to spend entire games drifting around the pitch, barely working up a sweat. He often looks entirely disinterested and it’s not all that surprising that Arsenal fans were ready to see the back of him.
What is surprising, however, is that he’s been granted yet another chance now. At 31-years-old, it’s looking increasingly unlikely that he’ll be able to pull it together and start performing on a regular basis. If he can however, then we all know he has the potential and the ability to help Arsenal compete for the title.
An on-form Andrey Arshavin trades in moments of magic and can run defences ragged. He’s fleet-footed, surprisingly pacey and he’s a smart footballer (compared to the likes of Theo Walcott). When he’s invested in a game (like he was for Russia during the group stages of the Euros) he’s capable of absolutely dominating it. I’ll never forget his 4 goals against Liverpool at Anfield during the first season he joined the club. If he can perform to half that level this season, he can be an asset for Arsenal this year. If not, he’ll be a waste of space yet again.
One thing’s for sure, given Arsenal’s weighty wallet, they’ll need Arshavin more than ever this season.
What’s your take? How important will the little Russian be this season?
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