Andrei Arshavin Is One of the Great "What Ifs"of Arsene Wenger Era at Arsenal
For many, however, the release of Arshavin will be a case of what could have been.
The former Zenit St Petersburg forward arrived in North London in February 2009 after impressing for his country in the European Championships of the previous year.
Despite being suspended for the first two group matches, Arshavin proved to be the catalyst for the Russians to march into the semifinals after scoring twice and setting up two other goals, including in the quarterfinal defeat of the Netherlands, as BBC Sport reported.
Russia could not match Spain in the last four, but Arshavin had made his mark on the European game, and the Gunners broke their club record to sign the forward for £15.9 million, as reported by the Daily Telegraph.
Arshavin was also voted second by Arsenal supporters in the club's Player of the Year awards, despite having only arrived in February, as the official club website reported.
Arshavin began his first full season in similar good form, including a great 20-yard strike in a 2-1 defeat at Manchester United.
It is arguable that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger played a part in Arshavin's lack of form, as he was played out wide rather than in a more central role in which he had previously excelled.
The midfielder's form and confidence dropped, and he returned to Zenit on loan in February 2012, where he made 11 appearances and scored three times.
His return to Arsenal allowed him to mark a century of Premier League appearances for Arsenal this season, but the swagger and confidence which had lit up the Emirates in his early days at the club were long gone.
In total, Arshavin made just 11 appearances for the Gunners this season and scored just once, in a Capital One Cup win over Coventry City.
Arshavin will now leave Arsenal as one of the great disappointments of the Wenger era, with many left to wonder "What could have been..."
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