Andre Arshavin has opened up on the disappointments which culminated his final days at the Emirate. The 32-year-old forward admitted that lack of playing time at the Emirate had a significant impact on his mentality.
The Russia international joined Arsenal from Zenith St Petersburg for a reported £15m in January of 2009. Despite been assigned a superstar status when he joined the Gunners, he’s final season at the Emirate had him feature only 11 times, playing just 80 minutes of Premier League football.
Earlier this week, Arshavin secured a return back to the Russian club on a free transfer. He told Sport Express he had to leave England after his five seasons spell at the north London club almost got him into depression.
“The fact is I didn’t want to stay in England, this was clear since January,” Arshavin said. “I didn’t regret anything, but I had to leave. It was a punishment sat on the bench.
“To train even though you know you won’t play- it is psychologically difficult. I nearly suffered depression, but I didn’t because I’m mentally strong. The monotony of life there was crushing me.”
Arshavin, who signed a two-year deal with Zenit, told the Russian club’s official website, “I am glad to get back to the city. It’s good to wear the Zenit shirt. I just want to play football.”
In his first spell at Zenith, Arshavin scored 71 goals in 310 matches and won the Russian premier league titles as well as the UEFA Cup in 2008.