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Arshavin: the last man through the window may be slow to adapt

By Reuters Staff
February 4, 2009

Arsenal’s signing of Russia’s most talented player Andrei Arshavin on the final day of the transfer window (just about) brought an end to months of speculation, but will he or any of the other January transfers make an impact in what is left of the Premier League season?

If Arsene Wenger’s previous transfers are anything to go by Arshavin, like Thierry Henry, Robert Pires and Mathieu Flamini before him, will need a settling-in period to adapt to Arsenal’s distinctive patient style. Unfortunately for the Gunners, who are five points off the Champions League places, time is running out.

After letting Hleb and Flamini go in the summer, Arsene Wenger’s side was always going to look short of depth in midfield and fans were screaming out for the signing of Arsharvin in the summer. Has this deal come four months too late?

The other big January story came from Tottenham Hotspur, who bizarrely bought back Pascal Chimbonda, Robbie Keane and Jermain Defoe. Good business by Harry Redknapp? Hopeless optimism? We’ll see about that.

Man City also spent a lot of money, if not quite as much as they would have liked, but I wonder if the cleverest deal might turn out to be Aston Villa’s purchase of Emile Heskey from Wigan for £3.5million. If Villa make it into the Champions League, that may well come to seem the bargain of the year.

Otherwise, who do you think will turn out to be the next Javier Mascherano, Nemanja Vidic or Emmanuel Adebayor? And who will be the next Jean-Alain Boumsong?

PHOTO: Andrei Arshavin celebrates a goal for Russia against Germany in a World Cup qualifier in Dortmund, Oct. 11, 2008. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

Comments

Excellent blog once again Joe, as an Arsenal fan I share your fears. The pace of the premier league is well known, and Arsenal’s style of football, though well suited to Arshavin, will not be easy to adapt to. Arsenal do not have time for Arshavin to adapt at the speed of Henry or Pires, he needs to peform now, not next season, for Arsenal’s season to be rescued. I certainly agree that the deal has come four months too late. Wenger’s belief that the team was good enough despite the departure of key players and did not need strengthning has been shown to be catastrophically misplaced, and Arsenal may pay a heavy price. However, I do take heart from the fact that some of Wenger’s signings have come good early, such as Bergkamp, Vieira and Ljungberg. Perhaps there is hope after all!

Posted by Lozza | Report as abusive
 

Arsenal can pull it back and Arsharvin is class. If they get Fabregas, Eduardo, Arsharvin, Walcott, Nasri, Van Persie and Adebayor all fit, they’ll have awesome attacking options. Heskey?! Has everyone forgotten how rubbish he is?

Posted by BK | Report as abusive
 

At least the teams you mentioned have got something for their money. My (Liverpool) team have sold Robbie Keane at a loss which works out at £1m per goal he scored for them – great business!

Posted by Tony R | Report as abusive
 

I want to believe. I want so much to believe. He looks like an Arsenal player, he sounds like an Arsenal player, but realistically… it’s too late for us this season.

Posted by Helen Greaves | Report as abusive
 

lozza; bergkamp was not signed by wenger but by the one and only mr bruce rioch

Posted by ross clark | Report as abusive
 

He at least represents a glimpse of optimism in a season that’s been getting uglier and uglier. My bet is, he’ll either be brilliant and get injured or take forever to bed in.

Posted by Jimmy Jones | Report as abusive
 

Should’ve been bought months ago. That might’ve meant Arsenal would be higher placed than fifth right now.
As a regular at home games, a creative player is desperately needed at the moment with all our injuries so hopefully he’ll provide it.

 

I agree with you Joe, if he’s even saying he’s not fit himself — http://football.uk.reuters.com/uk/news/L 3751320.php
– then it’s going to be a while before we see the benefits of having him on the team.

Posted by Ez | Report as abusive
 

Good blog Joe. I think in general the transfer window
is more trouble than it’s worth but Arsharvin looks a good signing.
Maybe Wenger should stick his hand in his pocket more often.

Posted by Sonia | Report as abusive
 

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