Arshavin returns home after frustrating 5 years at the Emirates

After 5 long years at the Emirates Stadium, Andrei Arshavin has officially left the club after he signed a contract with former side Zenit St. Petersburg.

With the Russian hardly featuring this season for The Gunners, Arshavin was able to join the Russian Super League champions for free with his contract set to expire in the next few days.

Despite being away from his former club for the last 5 years, the winger maintained close contact and spent the end of last season on loan for the Russian champions.

The move marks the end of a torrid few seasons for Arshavin where his inconsistent form saw the Russian fall out of favour and regularly placed on the subs bench.

By leaving for free, it marks a huge fall in stock for a player who broke Arsenal’s transfer record when he signed for £15 million back in January 2009.

The Russian’s reputation when he joined Arsenal was that of a world class winger who had impressed pundits and the media with a series of strong performances during Euro 2008.

His form was strong at the start of his time in London where his performances matched the transfer fee including a stunning 4 goal spree in the 4-4 against Liverpool later on that season.

After then, highlights were few and far between for the Russian who struggles and troubles mirrored that of a club struggling to capture titles and their former glory.

However, Arshavin still managed to record a respectable 144 appearances for the Gunners in a time where he scored 31 goals over the past 5 years.

But Arshavin’s international form has maintained some faith for the winger in his homeland where he now has 75 caps for his country.

This was coupled with a loan spell for Zenit in 2012 which saw the Russian forward regain some form scoring 3 goals and record 4 assists in just 10 games towards the end of the season.

Therefore, it isn’t a real surprise that Zenit have moved to re-sign Arshavin on a permanent basis with the side always looking to build to their growing mix of well known faces that also include the likes of Hulk and Anatoliy Tymoshchuk.

Arsenal fans can now bid farewell to Arshavin who becomes the latest casualty of the mass spring clean that is currently underway at the Emirates Stadium.

Andrew Roach is writer and editor of A keen Arsenal fan who is always on the pulse of all things at the Emirates!