The most tedious transfer saga in recent memory reached its conclusion today when Arsenal offically announced the signing of Andrei Arshavin. The 27 year old playmaker, who caught the eye of the football world during Zenit’s victorious UEFA Cup campaign as well as at the European Championships, has signed a long-term contract for an undisclosed fee, believed to be in the region of 13 million pounds. He will wear the number 23 shirt, but will not be available to play in the Champions League this season.

Arsene Wenger was obviously delighted with his new recruit “We are delighted to have signed Andrey Arshavin, he is a player I have admired for a long time. He is a versatile player with great experience, who will add real quality to our squad. Andrey is an exciting impact player with a huge amount of ability and has been an influential force with both Zenit St Petersburg and the Russian national team in recent seasons.”

Arshavin is looking forward to settling in: “I am so happy to be joining Arsenal. They are one of the leading football clubs in the world, with a group of fantastic young players and a great manager. I am looking forward to making the Arsenal supporters happy and helping this great Club win trophies.”

Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis said “Andrey was identified by Arsène as a quality creative player that would add something special to this youthful but talented squad. The Board has always backed the manager with his transfer targets and we are delighted to welcome Andrey to the Club where he will help us to challenge for honours this season.”

Goonersworld would like to welcome Andrei to Arsenal and wish him the best of luck, as we look to improve from here on in the season.

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