Among Arsenal fans, it is a popular view that Andrei Arshavin should be sold in the January transfer window.
This opinion isn't exactly without reason. Of course, it's totally true that the little Russian is getting old, and he is losing a little steam; his shots are losing some zest, and he isn't able to evade defenders as well as he could a few years ago.
And his name probably wouldn't appear on a trophy for the hardest-working player in the world. It is a rarity when the 30-year-old tracks back from his position on the wing to challenge an opponent in his own half.
Despite these flaws, it's the case that Arshavin is supremely talented, and that he has his moments of brilliance. Sometimes when he is playing badly, he can have one flash of genius, and it often leads to an Arsenal goal.
In addition, he has good vision, executes great passes and he is almost always on the same page as his teammates.
In an attempt to make up for losing Gervinho and Alex Song to the African Cup of Nations, Arsene Wenger is preparing to generate many headlines by snapping up former Arsenal player and Highbury/Emirates legend Thierry Henry on loan.
There's no doubt that the Red Bulls star won't be able to fill the gap that Gervinho is going to leave in the attack. Therefore, for that amount of time, Arshavin's presence will be appreciated by Gunners fans because the Ivorian winger is one of the most incisive players in the offense of the red-and-whites.
And of course, the issue of money arises, as sports and economics go hand in hand in this day and age. Arshavin, who is nicknamed "Meerkat" by his teammates, now has a reputation of being a washed-up athlete, no longer the elite superstar he once was.
As a result of his lower stature in people's minds, he definitely won't go for too much money. He might be sold for a sum of £10 million at the best, which is £5 million less than the amount that he came for upon arriving from Zenit St. Petersburg.
A more viable option may be to sell Arshavin in the summer transfer window, given that the African Cup of Nations will not force very important players to leave their club for a while. In terms of finances, he probably won't sell for less if he leaves in the summer transfer window, so it won't hurt Arsenal much money-wise.
In conclusion, Arsene Wenger can definitely benefit from Arshavin, though it wouldn't be advisable to start him; he's more of an impact substitute. In the time that Gervinho is on international duty, he will be a sort of stopgap (plus, don't pretend that you don't enjoy his hilarious facial expressions!).
I think he should be sold in the summer. Getting rid of him in the near future is too soon.
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