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.
sportLiverpool 5 Norwich City 1: Uruguayan striker has now scored 11 league goals against the club
arts + entsOlivier-nominated actor and singer is set to star in Lloyd Webber's musical about the Profumo affair
filmWith more than 70 per cent of early films lost, archivists are scouring the world to preserve the precious examples that remain
sportThe coach of Chalfont St Peter's under-10s football team was relieved of his duties after he sent an email to parents that said: 'I am only interested in winning'
techA piece of new hi-tech kit aims to get us scribbling again
indybestMake getting out of the wrong side of bed on cold winter mornings a thing of the past with our selection of night-time covers
life + styleClarissa Baldwin is the brains behind the slogan 'A Dog is for Life not just for Christmas'
Latest in Sport
Arsenal 2 Hull City 0 match report: Nicklas Bendtner back in the goals as superb Arsenal march on at the top
Liverpool 5 Norwich City 1 match report: Sublime Luis Suarez tears Norwich apart once again
Fulham 1 Tottenham Hotspur 2 match report: Andre Villas-Boas masterstroke helps Spurs edge Rene Meulensteen's battling Fulham
David Moyes admits Manchester United face tough task to retain their title
Manchester United 0 Everton 1 match report: David Moyes misery as Roberto Martinez pulls off the elusive victory
- 1 North Korea: Kim Jong Un 'sacks powerful uncle and has his aides executed'
- 2 The hardwired difference between male and female brains could explain why men are 'better at map reading'
- 3 Is this the scariest advert ever? Japanese tyre commercial comes with its own disclaimer and health warning
- 4 A forgotten episode in Russian history leaves links with the Philippines
- 5 ‘Put it in my mouth’: Viewers outraged by apparent reference to oral sex in VIP e-cig advert