Arshavin promises to deliver
Arsenal's new signing Andrei Arshavin had a message for the Gunners' fans as he sets off on his new career at the Emirates Stadium: "Trust in me and Arsenal."
Arshavin, who hopes to help bring silverware to the Arsenal sideboard after some barren years, also said it had been a "dream move", and told Sky television cameras he been an Arsenal supporter for some time.
Arsenal confirmed that the Russian playmaker had signed for the Premier League side on a "long-term" contract, believed to be three-and-a-half years. The London club agreed a deal for the player with his former club, Zenit St Petersburg, just minutes before Monday's transfer deadline, but had to wait until Tuesday for the move to be ratified by the Premier League. Arsenal have not yet released information about Arshavin's fee, but it is believed to be around £15 million.
The club have not won a major competition since they triumphed over Manchester United in the FA Cup final in 2005, one year after they went unbeaten to claim the Premier League title. The 27-year-old is adamant that he has joined one of the best clubs in the world, and is sure he can help add silverware to the Gunners trophy cabinet.
The Russian revealed the prospect of playing under manager Arsene Wenger was one of many reasons why he had his heart set on the move. Arshavin had been linked with a move to Barcelona after he shot to fame following his outstanding performances during UEFA EURO 2008, but the Russian said he was happy to join the Gunners, thanks partly due to Wenger. Arshavin told Arsenal TV: "I moved because I like the Arsenal style, Wenger as a coach and I like some of their players."
The club is thought to have been locked in negotiations with Zenit over the switch since the transfer window re-opened. "I followed each game and from the moment when I met Arsene Wenger," he added. "He told me every time I talked to him, he said: 'I want you to come to Arsenal.' He had confidence in me."
When asked if he had a message to the Arsenal fans, the 2006 Russian Footballer of the Year answered: "Trust in me and Arsenal."