It brings me great pleasure to begin today’s post by stating that Andrei Arshavin is now officially an Arsenal player.
The announcement was made around 4.30pm yesterday UK Time, literally minutes after I – down in Australia – went to bed. I had hoped to break the official news of his signing as soon as it happened but it all got a bit ridiculous sitting up at 2am in the morning doing nothing but refreshing the Arsenal.com website. Alas, it happened and that’s all that really matters now.
It’s hard to know exactly what we paid for Arshavin but general reports are that it was a club record. However, as I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I think it will be money well-spent on a player of immense quality. Incidentally he will wear the #23 shirt.
The official Arsenal site is littered with all sorts of bits and bobs about Arshavin which I’d encourage you to check out. By far the best thing is Arshavin’s first interview as an Arsenal player. Normally you would need to be a subscriber of Arsenal TV to view it but some clever monkey has uploaded it to YouTube and an even cleverer monkey (regular reader ‘Swift’) posted the link. I’ve included it below (for those reading via email or RSS, click this link to view).
He seems quite a decent chap, doesn’t he? I think the attempt to speak in English – and fairly fluent English at that – is a good sign that he will be able to fit nicely into the Arsenal camp.
Understandably I’m not the only one who has spoken out about the impact that Arshavin might make as a player. Arsene Wenger as well as Arsenal CEO Ivan Gazidis – who played a huge role in the Russian’s tranfer – have both commented on the signing, insisting that he will add the quality and experience necessary to help the current squad succeed.
First up, Wenger:
“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.”
“Andrey was identified by Arsène as a quality creative player that would add something special to this youthful but talented squad. The Board has always backed the manager with his transfer targets and we are delighted to welcome Andrey to the Club where he will help us to challenge for honours this season.”
It’s hard to argue with anything that the manager or Gazidis have said. I’m strongly of the opinion that Arshavin is a special player who will have a decent impact on the club from day one.
In his interview the Russian suggests that he may not be sharp enough yet to play against Tottenham on the weekend but I’ve just got the feeling that Wenger could put him on the bench and give him a run-out. What a baptism of fire that would be too, a debut in the North London derby at White Hart Lane. Imagine if he scored? It would be incredible.
Above everything else football-related that Arshavin will bring to the club, I get the feeling that his signing will restore hope not only in the fans but an Arsenal squad that have scrapped their way through the opening half of the season. His arrival as well as the eventual return from injury of guys like Theo Walcott, Cesc Fabregas, Eduardo and Tomas Rosicky means the attacking side of our game should be restored in some force. All of a sudden it’s exciting to be an Arsenal fan again.
Welcome Andrey and on behalf of the readers of this blog I wish you all the best. Slam one past Carlo Cudicini for us on Sunday, will you?
Have your say on the signing of Andrey Arshavin by leaving a comment.