Simples Hey Andrei!

By David Hamill


As a busy time in the January transfer window looms, it will no doubt raise the debate over the benefit of such a hectic and disruptive time in the football calendar.


At such a pivotal time of the season clubs will be either reluctant to sell their best players or demand extortionate fees for dead weights from those desperate to salvage a faltering campaign.


And even if you do get value for money it can take time for a new addition to make an immediate impact. But one exception to the rule was Arsenal’s £20m signing Andrei Arshavin from Zenit St. Petersburg almost 12 month ago.

The midfield maestro, reportedly mocked by his own team-mates for sounding like Aleksandr Orlov – a meerkat who fronts a car insurance advertisement – has certainly lived up to expectations at the Emirates.


And the dynamic little Russian has also led the line with some eye catching performances – but that’s enough about Aleks.


Arsenal’s limited striker options have been well documented over the last few weeks and boss Arsene Wenger has looked for Arshavin to provide the inspiration by solving their crisis upfront.


The Frenchman has a history of converting players from one position to another and the way Arshavin has adapted to his new role is reminiscent of the time Thierry Henry made the successful transition from a good left winger to an even better striker.


Arshavin will revert to a deeper role when Arsenal’s recognised strikers return but for now he is proving to be a very capable solution.


His four-goal haul at Anfield last season showed the clinical accuracy the midfielder possesses and he was at it again with a stunning finish against Liverpool on Sunday – rifling home from the edge of the box despite leaning backwards.


The Russian rose to prominence for the national side at Euro 2008 but considering he was 26 and yet to establish himself in a top European League, it left a question mark over his ability to deliver week in, week out for one of Europe’s elite club’s.


That question has been emphatically answered and when it comes to high-profile eleventh hour buys in the January transfer market, there really is no comparison.


Tags: Andrei Arshavin, Arsenal, Arsene Wenger


Watch Live Football Now