In January 2009 Arsenal broke their transfer record to sign a Russian star who quickly became a cult hero at the club in the name of Andre Arshavin. The deal was a controversial one as it nearly did not happen as Zenit were reluctant to release their star player.
The Quarterfinal clash saw Arshavin tear apart the Netherlands in a 3-1 extra time victory which announced the little Russian playmaker to the world. After extensive negotiations, Zenit accepted an offer of £15 million on deadline day and he became an Arsenal player.
He settled quickly with the team helping the Gunners to victories in his first few games at the club. however, the clash away at Liverpool in April 2009 is one in the folklore of Arsenal fans as he scored all the goals for his side in the 4-4 draw.
This performance saw many pundits praise the Russian with fans naming him the Russian Assassin for his exploits. However, that would be the high point of his career at the club as he failed to hit the heights expected of him at the club.
The petite forward could not cope with the intensity and physicality of the Premier League and was bullied far too easily off the ball. Arsene Wenger also played the player off position on the wings rather than as a supporting striker. Though this was difficult due to the presence of Cesc Fabregas in the position at that time.
After four seasons with the club, the player left back to Russia after making 105 appearances netting 23 goals for the Gunners. He would be remembered for his working ethic and brilliant performances against Liverpool and Barcelona.