Andrei Arshavin could make shock move... to Azerbaijan

Arsenal's outcast Andrei Arshavin is being linked with a shock move to clubs in Azerbaijan.

It is fair to say Andrei Arshavin's Arsenal career has not been as successful as he might have hoped.

The Russian was hailed as Arsene Wenger's breakthrough signing when he arrived in 2009, and mesmerised with a four goal performance in an unforgettable 4-4 draw between Arsenal and Liverpool.

Since then it has largely been downhill, save for a temporary high from a first leg Champions League winner over Barcelona, and this season he has not made a single start in the Premier League.

He is expected to move on this summer, that is no surprise, but where - could just be.

Russian newspaper Izvestia is claiming Arshavin is being lined up for a shock switch to either Azerbaijan or Australia.

Both leagues are aiming to grow, as seen by the A-League's pursuit of David Beckham, and see the addition of high profile names like Arshavin as a starting point for success.

In Azerbaijan's case, the league is growing richer by the year, with former Wales and Real Madrid manager John Toshack managing top team Khazar Lankaran.

Izvestia report that the president of the club said he would 'not be surprised' to see Arshavin at the club in the future.

The Azerbaijani football association are keen to grow the image of their league, and even compete in the Champions League and Europa League in Europe in the future.

Arshavin's contract expires this summer and he can choose his club from the best available offers. Arshavin recently trained with the Russian national team to keep his name in the frame, and the concern is that if he chooses Australia or Azerbaijan as his destination then he may harm his international prospects.

One thing is clear, and that's that Arshavin will have plenty of offers. Azerbaijan and Australia may just be the A's.

image: © Ronie Macdonald

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