The 31-year-old Andre Arshavin joined the Gunners in a club record £15 million transfer fee from Russian outfit Zenit St. Petersburg in February 2008. He made a rapid start to his Gunners career, scoring 6 goals in 12 league appearances, including all four goals in a thrilling 4-4 draw against Liverpool at Anfield.
He continued his rich vein of form the following season, scoring 10 league goals in 30 appearances. He was also voted Premier League’s most effective player in 2009, producing a goal or an assist every 77 minutes.
However, it has not been smooth sailing since then, and his first-team opportunities have continued to dwindle. He even spent six months on loan at his former club Zenit in 2012. This season, he has only two starts to his name in the League Cup, and nine substitute appearances in the Premier League and Champions League.
His contract is set to expire at the end of the season and there was widespread speculation that it will not be renewed and Wenger has confirmed his departure. According to Metro, he said, “I don’t think he will stay here, because he doesn’t play enough. He is at the end of his contract at the end of the season, then he will decide what he will do.”
There were also reports which suggested that the former Russia captain was contemplating retirement, but he has since then admitted ‘shock’ about such rumours and also said he would like to play regular first-team football in order to feature for Russia in the 2014 World Cup.
However, that may not be possible in the Premier League, as the tricky winger is yet to receive an offer from other English clubs. He is free to discuss negotiations with rival clubs since he has less than six months to run on his contract, but he has not received any concrete offers as yet, most likely due to weekly wages of £95,000.
There has been major interest from a number of MLS sides and Arshavin, desperately in search for regular football, could be forgiven for leaving the Premier League and following in the footsteps of David Beckham and Thierry Henry with a move to the MLS.