Arsenal made a splash in the winter transfer window of 2009 as they offloaded €15 million in signing Andrei Arshavin. Expectations were high for the Russian player as he had gone through a terrific 2008 after winning the UEFA Super Cup with ZenitSt.Petersburg as well as winning the Russian Super Cup.Arshavin was even named as the Man of the Match of the UEFA Cup Finals match.
Arshavin ultimately disappointed as he failed to live up to his €15 million price tag after only scoring 23 goals in over 100 appearances and the Russian player simply could not replicate the performances that he used to make when he was wearing the jersey of ZenitSt.Petersburg.
It certainly wasn’t one of the most memorable transfers that Arsene Wenger has made in his managerial career.
According to the agent Jon Smith, this was a deal that was completed only 30 seconds before the transfer market was about to close. Jon Smith revealed details concerning this transfer as he said:
‘’I was involved with Andrei Arshavin. That deal started in the second week in January. ‘It got to the very last day and we were about £1.2million apart with about an hour to go. And it was literally who blinked, and I sat in the middle of it as the agent. In the end, I offered the Russians the extra money. And I said to Arsenal I’ve done this. And we had 30 seconds to go.’’
It would have been much better for Arsenal if they reserved that €15 million instead of having it spent on Arshavin as it’s regarded to be one of the worst transfers of the Premier League from the past 20 years.