25th February, 2012
Arsenal forward Andrey Arshavin has sealed a loan move back to former club Zenit St Petersburg until July on the Russian transfer window’s deadline day.
The Russian international, 30, has spent most of the current campaign out of form at the Emirates Stadium, drawing the ire of many Arsenal supporters.And Arshavin confirmed the switch on his official Twitter page @AndrArshavin23, saying: “It’s done.
“Shortly afterwards the Russian added on his personal website: “I’ve moved to “Zenit”. On loan, will play under number 29. All the details tomorrow, when you wake up
.”Eurosport reports that the Gunners subsequently confirmed the deal, adding: “Everyone at Arsenal wishes Andrey well during his spell with Zenit.”The return to his native country appears to have received manager Arsene Wenger’s blessing now that Gervinho has returned from the African Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.
.Wenger had appeared to rule out the move earlier in the day in a press conference ahead of the north London derby against Tottenham on Sunday.Arshavin arrived at the Emirates from Zenit in January 2009, after catching the eye at the 2008 European Championships in Switzerland and Austria.He made an instant impression at the club, scoring all four goals in a 4-4 draw against Liverpool at Anfield early in his Gunners career, but had since faded, drawing criticism from Arsenal fans for his work rate as the team struggled this season.Arshavin has played 133 times for Arsenal and scored 30 goals.