Andrey Arshavin Reaffirms Arsenal Allegiance

The diminutive Russian star has attempted to quash any speculation linking him with an Emirates exit...

Andrey Arshavin has refused to give credence to the growing rumours that he is set to leave Arsenal after just five months with the north London outfit.

The playmaking forward, who was the Gunners' most productive asset in the second half of the season due to his eye for an assist and his willingness to strike, was linked with a return to former club Zenit St. Petersburg after it became public knowledge that he was training with the Russian Premier League side.

Such was his swift adaption to life in England, he has furthermore been linked with a move to Barcelona, although these reports have been construed as nothing but conjecture.

He told Sport Express, "I do not consider it necessary to comment on [the rumours]. It is just not a topic for conversation.

"I spent a week in St. Petersburg training with my former club, Zenit. Everybody was quite kind to me. I cannot say that I communicated a lot with anyone, just a bit with everybody.

"I hope that training at my former club will be useful. In any case, it was better than a week of doing nothing. I don’t think that the attitude of people in St. Petersburg has changed since I left. As far as I can see, they like me equally, even though I am playing in a different team now."

When probed as to which players he could foresee carving a successful career in the Premier League, Arshavin recommended Igor Akinfeev to Manchester United as a replacement for ageing Edwin van der Sar, and also right-back Aleksandr Anyukov to Rafael Benitez.

"Given that Van der Sar will not be around forever, Ferguson is most in need of a goalkeeper. I therefore advise him to sign Akinfeev,” Arshavin asserted. “And Liverpool? Perhaps Anyukov."

Alan Dawson,