Former Arsenal midfielder Andrei Arshavin has re-joined Zenit St Petersburg after four years in the Premier League.
The Russia international left Zenit in 2009 to join Arsene Wenger’s side but found himself on the fringes of the first team in the final two years of his stay in London, and with no offer of an extension to his contract the forward has moved back to his former club on a permanent basis.
Arshavin spent a brief loan spell back at the club during the 2011-12 season, making 11 appearances and scoring three goals, but no deal could be done with Arsenal at the time to take him back to the Russian Premier League. Now, with no transfer fee involved, Zenit have moved quickly to bring the 32-year-old back on a two-year contract.
A statement on the club’s official website announced the news. It read: “FC Zenit welcomes the return of Andrei Arshavin in St. Petersburg and the player wants further success in the blue-and-white!
“One of the best footballers in Russia of the last decade is returning to his home city.”
Arshavin was equally excited about sealing his return to the club he made 236 appearances for in his first spell.
“I am very glad that it happened,” he told the club’s official website. “I am glad to get back to the city. It’s good to wear a Zenit shirt (again).
“I just want to play football, and I want to do it in my hometown.”
The former Russia captain, who has 74 caps to his name, also revealed that he hoped the move would help him back into the national squad for the rest of their World Cup qualifying campaign.