European Soccer

Where will Arshavin go?


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:

Manchester City

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.

AC Milan

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.

  • mig22

    Is it possible that some German side can scrape together the funds? Somebody has to step up and contend with Bayern Munich.

    Other than that, Chelsea is still pretty loaded in midfield even with Lamps going. However, Ballack is a bit injury-prone at this stage of his career so…maybe. But Man City is the best bet.


  • Andrew

    He wants to go to the the EPL and play for Arsenal or Chelsea. If Adebayor’s gone, I think Arsenal will definitely get him. Wenger is very high on him and is a improvement over Hleb. 10 million euros will be fine for his price tag.


  • Ted

    Mig22: I don’t know what German side would put up the cash.

    Diego and Van der Vaart are at Bremen and HSV, respectively. One or both will move this summer, but neither one makes huge splashes in the transfer market (HSV will probably invest in some youth or a striker if Van der Vaart leaves as they have an able replacement in Piotr Trochowski, who is on the German Euro team).

    Stuttgart, Dortmund, Leverkeusen, Wolfsburg etc wouldn’t pony up $30 million for a $27-year-old. Because Bayern probably isn’t interested as they have too many midfield players as it is, Germany probably isn’t an option.


  • Johnny Gunnz


    Arshavin won’t be going anywhere. His club is owned by one of the richest men on the planet with one of the world’s most audacious stadiums under construction. Zenit is qualified for the Champions League group stage and there’s no way in hell that they’re going to sell him. They don’t need the money and quite frankly, clubs like Everton and Man City are small potatoes compared to Zenit in terms of financial muscle.

    Arshavin was on 50,000 pounds a week before this tournament and is in line for a substantial raise from his owner. Trust me, he isn’t going anywhere.


  • Mig22

    Ted, nice summary. I wasn’t up to date on the current doings in the German league. Hey, maybe Bayern will grab him so they don’t have to play against him again.

    $27 year old indeed. 🙂


  • Chase

    I agree with Johnny, I don’t think he will be sold, epecially with Zenit setting their sights on a deep run in the CL. Plus Russian football is on the rise, with the injection of oil money into the Russian Premier League and Zenit will have no trouble offering competitive wages.

    Where did you come up with Everton? When was the last time they spent 15 million pounds on a player? And as you said for Milan, why would Arshavin trade CL football with Zenit for the UEFA Cup with Everton or Man City?

    IF and its a big IF Arshavin is sold, it will only be to a big CL club like Chelsea, Arsenal, Madrid, Barca, Liverpool, etc…


  • Justin O

    “Zenit” certainly seems a very plausible answer to the question of where he’ll go.


  • jahs

    he’ll to go arsenal as a hleb replacement.

    anyone see the soccernet piece today about the peerless managerial success of Guss Hiddink – can he hire him ASAP after he leaves Russia? a coach like him is needed to solve the difficult problems we fill face(where to play donovan, dempsey, altidore, adu, what formation..)

    BB will get exposed at the 2010 WC


  • Nic


    Gael Clichy signed a new long-term contract with Arsenal. I think that’s a pretty good way of holding onto him. He’s not going anywhere.


  • Coach

    Like Johnny Gunnz said, Arshavin isn’t going anywhere.

    And anyone who thinks Hiddink would work miracles with the US is mistaken. We need better players. Russia is a side chock full of class players. The only US player that would start for Russia is Tim Howard.

    On a side note, Zenit’s new stadium will have a pipeline funnelling beer directly in from the local brewery!! How cool is that?


  • Sean

    Apparently none of you have checked in on news from abroad recently, because even Dicky boy admitted Arshavin wants to leave.


    Russian owners want the national team to benefit as well, they are in this for national pride, not to make money unlike American investors. If Arshavin got the oppurtunity to go to a Chelsea, they would most likely let him go and wish him well.


  • georger

    Why has noone mentioned Liverpool? Remember who the last EPL team to make a swoop for a Zenit player was? If Rafa had scouts working Russia to find Skrtel surely they were aware of him as well, and because of that deal they already have a working relationship with the club.


  • Keith G.

    Bayern where interested in the player right after getting knocked out by Zenit, and would deffently make the move to bring him in if they feel he is a key piece.


  • Gene

    I think he is staying where he is. His club has $$ and, given his performance at the Euros, he can write as many zeros to the end of the contract price as he wants. Plus, Zenit is in the Champion’s League next season, so staying does not mean missing out on the big European stage.

    But if he does go anywhere, for his sake, I hope he goes to Man City or Everton.


  • Bayern Fan

    Bayern may have become a more likely suitor considering Ribery’s injury last week, especially since the first reports said he’d be out for as long as eight weeks, which means he misses the start of the Bundesliga campaign. I reckon we can afford the overlap of players as well as the pricetag for a player like this, but I still hope and expect to see Ribery back and completely healed and in form.


  • Robert in Orlando

    This conjecture sounds sort of silly, because there’s only one logical place for him to wind up and there’s exactly where he’ll be in a few weeks when the transfer window opens:

    Kansas City.


    8 )


  • Adam

    inregards to that post on Americans starting for Russia. Tim Howard would not start over Akinfeev



    Arshavin is leaving Zenit. He has said as much in his interviews.

    He’s also really not that good. Some big club will certainly take a punt on him, though.


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