Arshavin targets Arsenal glory
New Russian signing wants to win both Premier League and European Cup
Thursday 05 February 2009
Andrei Arshavin knows just what is expected of any Arsenal player – to help deliver the Premier League title and European glory.
The Russia international finally saw his protracted transfer from Zenit St Petersburg confirmed late on Tuesday afternoon, almost 24 hours after the deadline. With all documentation now fully ratified by the Premier League and Football Association – albeit with some paperwork understood to have arrived when business was supposed to have been formally completed – Arshavin has returned home to await the formality of a work permit before returning to London.
While Arsenal fans are likely to have to be patient for the debut of the playmaker, given that the Russian domestic season finished in November, Arshavin is in no doubt of the expectations which await him.
"Arsenal's aim is to win the Premier League title and be European champions," Arshavin told the Russian news channel Vesti. "That is always the target for this club, so everybody knows that."
Arshavin added: "The FA had to approve the deal. Everyone was waiting for their decision, and once that decision was taken and my transfer was registered with the FA, I became an Arsenal player. I have already had a training session, and I am pleased with how I have been welcomed. Everyone has been very hospitable."
The deal to bring Arshavin to Emirates Stadium on a four-and-a-half-year contract is understood to be for an initial £12m, with some £3m dependent on add-on clauses.
Although the Arsenal manager, Arsène Wenger, was clearly delighted to have finally landed his man, Arshavin turned out to be the club's only signing of the transfer window.
While Wenger continues to have great faith in his young side, Arsenal are outside the top four of the Premier League, five points behind Aston Villa. They travel to White Hart Lane on Sunday for the north London derby against Tottenham, a match which is likely to come too soon for Arshavin.
The Arsenal chief executive, Ivan Gazidis, maintains Wenger's vision continues to represent sound judgement. "It is vital that Arsenal are successful this year, but it is equally vital that Arsenal are successful next season and the season after that," Gazidis said. "When you have an outstanding group of young players, as we have, that is always going to be a delicate balancing act.
"I think sometimes the sheer quality of our young players is underestimated," he added. "Of course we still need to develop consistency, and that is natural with any young team – but our players are learning and improving from week to week.
"Marrying all these things is a delicate task, but Arsène Wenger does a masterful job in managing the process, giving young players opportunities to compete at the highest level and mentoring their development. I believe that his Arsenal teams have played, and will continue to play, some of the most attractive and entertaining football anywhere in the world."
The severe weather which hit London earlier this week not only crippled the capital's transport networks, which meant that some staff were unable to travel to the Premier League's offices on transfer deadline day, but it also caused the postponement of the FA Cup fourth-round replay against Cardiff at the Emirates Stadium. Burnley will visit the winners of that tie following their victory over West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday.
However, should Arsenal progress from the rearranged game on Monday 16 February, they face something of a fixture pile-up. The FA has confirmed that Burnley, who knocked the Gunners out of the Carling Cup this season, would travel to the Emirates on the weekend of 7-8 March, leaving Arsenal potentially a tie behind and forced to play catch-up.
They are away to Roma in the first leg of their last-16 Champions League tie on 11 March and have limited space to squeeze in another game ahead of the international break for the World Cup qualifiers later that month.
Latest in Sport
Manchester United can learn lessons from the transfer template of rivals Manchester City
Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea top the list of the Premier League's most expensive squads
Harry Kane: Tottenham striker confident of rediscovering goal-scoring form after chat with Alan Shearer
Cyprus vs Wales match report: Gareth Bale's bullet header has Welsh on brink of Euro 2016
Anthony Martial: Manchester United's new signing received Patrice Evra's boots as a kid
- 1 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
- 2 President Obama leaves touching comment on Humans of New York photo from Iran
- 3 If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
- 4 The Chinese city where men have 'three girlfriends because there are so many women'
- 5 German police forced to ask public to stop bringing donations for refugees arriving by train
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 250,000 back our campaign
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up