Merseyside and north London are far from each other but anytime Liverpool and Arsenal meet, memorable things happen.
The Reds would not forget what some Gunners’ forwards did, in the last decade and half. Thierry Henry is the obvious one but Andrei Arshavin is another.
The Russian arrived Arsenal on a high, with fans remembering him for his effort at Euro 2008. Arshavin netted four goals against The Kops at their home on April 21, 20009, leaving an indelible mark in the history between both sides.
After only a few years from that date, Arshavin’s history at the Emirates was torn to shreds. No doubt many would agree that the forward was talented. While some would say the surroundings played a part on his slump in form, others would opine that he was not mentally developed enough to handle the numerous distractions that seeped in.
It was deadline day of the winter window in 2009. Football agent Jon Smith had flown the player in from St Petersburg. Arsenal were known to be chasing the Euro star. Smith’s brother played football with a close friend of the player so Jon used that connect to hook Arshavin.
The player was free to be in England as his then club Zenit won the Russian league and gave him time off.
Officially, the player was supposed to be on vacation in France but Smith had other ideas as he flew the player to a hotel close to Arsenal’s training base at Colney.
If Zenit had known Arshavin was in London while they refused to cower to Arsenal’s valuation, the deal might never have happened – and Liverpool would have been spared. As the deal passed close to deadline, Arsenal were able to announce the arrival of one of the most sought after players in Europe for £15 million.
Smith claimed Arsenal were “very American corporate in the way they approach transfers,” hence the way the club does it businesses.