On this day in 2009, Arsenal announced the signing of Andrey Arshavin from Zenit St Petersburg.
The Gunners paid a reported £15m for the forward, who would go on to play 144 games while in north London, score 31 goals and assist 46. Before Mesut Ozil, who we paid a reported £42.5m for, it was the highest we’d ever paid for a player and a rare January signing for Arsene Wenger.
The Russia international made his debut for Arsenal against Sunderland on 21 February 2009, which ended 0-0. However, in March, he set up Kolo Toure for a goal against West Brom.
Perhaps Arshavin’s most impressive performance in an Arsenal kit came a month later against Liverpool. The Gunners were 4-0 down at Anfield and the forward went on to score all four goals, allowing us to leave with a point despite all odds. After that, he became something of a cult hero.
He also scored the second wonderful goal in Arsenal’s memorable 2-1 win Champions League win over Barcelona.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t to last and Arshavin’s work rate went down hill. In 2012, Arsenal loaned him back to his previous club, Zenit, before he joined them in a permanent deal a year later on a free transfer.
After two seasons there, Arshavin went to fellow Russian club, FC Kuban Krasnodar.
He now plays for Kairat in Kazakhstan where he’s made 32 appearances, scored 10 goals and assisted the same amount.