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Page last updated at 18:15 GMT, Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Arshavin completes Arsenal move


The Russia international says he is delighted with his 'dream' move

Arsenal have finally completed the transfer of Andrey Arshavin from Zenit St Petersburg for an undisclosed fee.

The Russian international midfielder, 27, agreed what the Gunners described as a "long-term" deal on Monday.

Final confirmation of the move was held up while the Premier League assessed whether all the necessary paperwork had been completed before the deadline.

Zenit claim the fee is about 15m and the contract for three-and-a-half years but Arsenal have not confirmed this.

"I'm a Gunner. I'm happy to be at Arsenal," Arshavin said. "I like Arsenal's style. I like Arsene Wenger as a coach. I like some of the players from this team."

He could now make his debut in Sunday's north London derby at Tottenham.

However, given that the Russian domestic season finished in November, the player is more likely to be allowed some time to build up full match fitness.


"I might be on Friday or Saturday, but I'm not fit now," said the player. "It will be decided by Arsene whether I can play or not."

He will be unable to figure in the Gunners' Champions League campaign as he has already featured for Zenit in the competition.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said: "He is a versatile player with great experience, who will add real quality to our squad.

"Andrey is an exciting impact player with a huge amount of ability and has been an influential force with both Zenit St Petersburg and the Russian national team in recent seasons."

The two clubs had earlier disagreed over the fee and over Arshavin's own personal terms.

But Arshavin flew to London on Sunday evening and spent Monday undergoing medical checks. It is understood he will now return to Russia to attend to personal matters before joining up with his new club.

Arshavin, who will wear the number 23 shirt for Arsenal, shot to prominence at Euro 2008 where his performances for Russia earned him a place in the Team of the Tournament.

He won the Russian Premier League with Zenit in 2007 and also played a key part in the club's Uefa Cup winning campaign last season.

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see also
Arshavin's Spurs move 'ruled out'
29 Aug 08 |  Tottenham
Tuesday's gossip column
03 Feb 09 |  Gossip

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