Andrei Arshavin has played just two games in the European Championships but two games have been enough for him to earn the label of fastest rising star at the tournament.
Arshavin’s skillful display against the Netherlands, which saw him outshine midfield stars Wesley Sneijder and Rafael Van Der Vaart, has helped catapult his transfer price, a price that will surely be paid by some team hoping he can duplicate his Euro magic in one of Europe’s biggest leagues.
The Zenit St. Petersburg playmaker drew raves after leading Zenit to the UEFA Cup title, but his performance in the Euros has been jaw-dropping. His combination of speed, skill and killer instinct make him an ideal transfer target.
So who will line up to sign the high-priced Russian? Here are some suspects:
New coach Mark Hughes has plent of money to spend and if City grow tired of chasing Ronaldinho they could do a lot worse than landing the 27-year old. With his price reportedly going from almost $20 million to almost $30 million in the past week alone, Manchester City might be one of the few teams capable of paying the big price.
With Mathieu Flamini already gone, Aleksandr Hleb with a foot out the door and Emmanuel Adebayor involved in heavy transfer rumors you would think Arsene Wenger would be looking to replace one of those players
while also trying to hold on to Gael Clichy (Clichy just signed a new deal so that’s taken care of). Well, you’re right. Wenger has a history of preferring young prospects and I have a feeling he’ll consider the price too high for a 27-year old. With more reasonably-priced and younger option in Samir Nasri already on the radar, I don’t see Wenger going after the Russian.
This seems like the mother of all no-brainers, doesn’t it? Why wouldn’t Roman Abramovich want to sign the most high-profile Russian player he could find? And why wouldn’t Chelsea want a central midfielder with Frank Lampard looking like he could be out the door? If Abramovich is serious about letting new manager Luiz Felipe Scolari run the show then you’ll probably see Chelsea pass on Arshavin in favor of someone like Deco, but if Russia goes on to win Euro and Arshavin is the star, then Abramovich might be too tempted to buy.
If you watched enough of Everton last year you know that the Toffees lacked offensive punch. With Mikel Arteta looking set to move to Spain, and Tim Cahill coming back from surgery, Everton needs some midfield attacking punch. That player could be David Bently, or it could be Arshavin, assuming he doesn’t wind up costing too much for the Liverpool club.
It’s no secret that Milan’s midfield is aging fast. We saw it all last season in Serie A, and we’ve seen it at Euros. Is Milan ready to spend big on a midfielder considering their need for forwards (and the possibility that the spend big bucks on either Adebayor, Drogba or Eto’o)? Does Arshavin want to join a team that won’t be in the Champions League this year? Will the allure of playing alongside Kaka and Pato be enough to make him go to Italy?
Arshavin pulled a bit of a shocker by actually admitting that he would prefer a move to La Liga, and the one team that makes the most sense is Barcelona, which is set to sell Ronaldinho and Deco. The question is whether Barcelona will have money for Arshavin considering it is also after Emmanuel Adebayor and has already spent big money on Seydou Keita and Martin Caceres. Arshavin might be dreaming of a move to Spain, but with Real Madrid focused on Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona having its money tied up elsewhere, Arshavin may have to ‘settle’ for a move to England.
Where do I see Arshavin going? I’d probably say Chelsea, Man City or Milan.
Where do you see Arshavin going? Share your thoughts below.