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Arshavin heads home

Andrey Arshavin brought an end to his unhappy spell at Arsenal by returning to his native Russia. The player joined Zenit St Petersburg on loan until the end of the English season, and seems unlikely to appear in an Arsenal shirt again.

Arshavin joined Arsenal for £15 million in 2009, with fresh memories of some brilliant performances for Russia in the Euro 2008 finals. He never really showed that kind of form for the London club, scoring 30 times in 133 appearances.

His high point in an Arsenal shirt came early in his English football career, when Arshavin scored all of Arsenal’s goals in a memorable 4-4 draw with Liverpool in April 2009.

At 30, Arshavin is well above Arsene Wenger’s preferred age for an Arsenal first-team player. The emergence of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain this season has made the Russian surplus to requirements. Arsene Wenger admitted that he would be willing to let Arshavin leave as the club had plenty of cover in his position.

Arshavin welcomed the move as a chance to get regular first-team football ahead of Euro 2012. Russia will be among the fancied contenders for the finals taking place in Poland and Ukraine. Russia have been drawn in a weak group with Poland, Greece and the Czech Republic.

"Friday was a very difficult day, nothing was decided until the very last minute," Arshavin told a Russian newspaper. "But I hope from now on everything is going to be fine. I want to play and will do all I can to help Zenit win the Russian title."

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