One Russian in, one Russian out? As Andrei Arshavin prepares for the Arsenal exit door, is Arsene Wenger lining up a move for CSKA Moscow playmaker Alan Dzagoev?
Arshavin starred at Euro 2008 but only secured a move to Arsenal in January 2009 for a reported £15m. Arshavin made an instant impact at the Emirates, scoring 6 goals and laying on 9 assists in just 15 games for Arsenal, including 4 goals in that famous 4-4 draw against Liverpool at Anfield.
But his stint at Arsenal started to slow down, particularly this season as he played 26 games and scored just 2 goals, becoming somewhat of an inconsistent player as Arsenal brought in Gervinho from Lille in the summer to provide competition, as well as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
A loan move back to Zenit came to fruition in January and he has rediscovered some of his form there, bettering his Arsenal stats for the year in under half of the games. Arshavin showed his renaissance on Friday with a stellar performance against CzechRepublic at Euro 2012, providing creative spark for an impressive Russia team – yet he’s still expected to leave Arsenal this summer, with a permanent return to St. Petersburg likely.
On the other flank for Russia was CSKA Moscow’s Alan Dzagoev, a talented young playmaker who cemented his reputation as one of the finest young players in world football by scoring twice in the Czech Republic tie. Dzagoev is a similar type of player to Arshavin – whilst he plays wide in Russia’s system, his game isn’t based on pace. He loves to get on the ball and create goalscoring chances, reminiscent of how Arshavin broke onto the scene.
Dzagoev is almost 22 but has already played over 100 games for CSKA, but will be available for a knock-down price as his contract expires at the end of next season. The question is where would he fit? Lukas Podolski has already agreed to sign and is likely to take up a place on the left of Wenger’s 4-3-3, with Robin van Persie likely to remain in the centre and Theo Walcott on the right, or even Gervinho.
Dzagoev could slot into the midfield and if used correctly in a playmaking role, he’d be a fantastic signing for Arsenal.
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