Hey Arsenal fans. Remember Andrey Arshavin? The boyish Russian whose career imploded and collapsed faster than Howard Dean's presidential campaign? Well, things haven't gone so well for the one time Russian player of the year.
Arshavin was released by Arsenal in 2013 to rejoin his boyhood club, Zenit St. Petersburg. Just two seasons later, Andre Villas Boas announced that his contract was not going to be renewed and he went on to join Kuban Krasnodar on a free transfer. After one season, eight appearances and no goals, Kuban announced on deadline day that they were terminating his contract.
Where did it all go wrong for the Russian? His career started so brightly at Arsenal, notching six goals and eight assists in 12 appearances, per tranfermarkt.com. Who could forget his four goal performance against Liverpool?
Yet, by the 2011/12 season, Arshavin was done. With only one goal and three assists in 19 appearances, the Russia international was shipped back to St.Petersburg on loan.
The following season, Arshavin made only seven appearances. Arsenal fans had begun to turn on him, accusing him of being lazy and overweight. When Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was subbed for him against Manchester United in 2012, the crowd booed, and it seemed like the pinnacle moment that announced the end for him at Arsenal.
Kobe Bryant once said that he chose the number 24 to symbolize that he was available for the team 24 hours per day. Arshavin was number 23 for Arsenal. According to most fans, Arshavin probably clocked out for that extra hour on the pitch.
A return to his homeland has not helped him regain any of his former glory, and at 34, the man hailed as one of Russia's most exciting players is slowly fading into obscurity. Perhaps the time is right for a move to the MLS?