Should Arsenal be so keen to get rid of Arshavin? (Video)

With the Russian transfer window to be closed on Thursday, the Telegraph broke the news that Arsenal, having been unable to find a buyer willing to pay a fee, were now offering club record signing Andrei Arshavin out on a free transfer.

The desire for the Gunners to cut their losses is understandable from one point of view. Arshavin is in the final year of his contract and the Gunners are clearly not going to extend that deal. The suspicion is perhaps Arshavin does not even want to remain at the club after the way his performances degenerated to such an extent last season that his arrival onto the pitch in place of fans favourite Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain against Manchester United was famously greeted with anger and jeers from the fans.

But should Arsenal be so hasty in ousting the man who they struggled so hard to claw away from Zenit St. Petersburg back in 2009 and who would almost single-handedly drag the Gunners to the Top 4 with some exhilirating football? The video below showcases some of the extraordinary skill that Arshavin possesses. Who can forget his first goal for the Gunners with his mesmeric run and finish against Blackburn? Or his awesome foursome at Anfield a few weeks later? Or the way he literally silenced Old Trafford and had Ben Foster flapping? Or famously, his caressed finish to finish off a sumptuous team move for the winner against the Barcelona?

Arshavin has his faults. His work rate will never be what fans desire and at the age of 31, he is without a doubt in physical decline. Playing him on either wing is a waste of his talents and even more so at this stage in his career. However, if put in a playmaker role, possibly off the bench to take the place of a rested Santi Cazorla, then Arshavin can still produce the goods. Arshavin may be a certainty to leave at the end of the season but with Arsenal’s squad not exactly the deepest, surely it makes more sense to keep a player of such ability and versatility at a club that is competing on four fronts this season?

The diminutive playmaker has had a tough year or two for both club or country but with just a little faith in him, then perhaps Arshavin can reach somewhere near the heights of this video.

Adam Mazrani

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