Andrei Arshavin has indeed made a last minute loan move to Zenit St Petersburg, confirming so on his website tonight.
I've moved to "Zenit". On loan, will play under number 29.
All the details tomorrow, when you wake up. :)
Initial terms of the loan agreement have not been made available, but one can assume that it will be to June, when both the Premier League and the Russian Premier League end their campaigns.
This is a move that has struck me as being quite odd. On Wednesday, I wrote an article saying that the move would not happen, reasoning that it didn't make logical sense with injuries to Aaron Ramsey and the loss of form of Theo Walcott. I stand by that article; I stand by that this is a very odd move, that makes no sense because Arsenal cannot replace Andrei Arshavin. Just two weeks ago, he was assisting Thierry Henry's winner for Sunderland; now, he's returning to Zenit. Perhaps that's the reason he played in the reserves during the week, to prove to Zenit that he was fit, and able to play 90 minutes.
I have no idea of knowing what happened beyond the scenes with this move. Arsene Wenger indicated the possibility of Arshavin being tapped up, and perhaps he wanted to return back to Russia. However, with just 3 months to go until the end of the season, to not hold onto Arshavin is a mistake by Arsene Wenger; for his loss of form, and apparent "laziness", Arshavin still had moments of quality. Some fans might've booed, but they may be wishing they didn't if Arsenal have a bad run of injuries that forces them to play someone like Oguzhan Ozyakup or Benik Afobe.
If we do get into that situation, the manager may call it "bad luck", but I would call it a mistake on the part of Arsene Wenger; you don't intentionally weaken your squad, when you have a big challenge to retain 4th place, when it's impossible to sign a replacement who is as good as Arshavin.
Andrei Arshavin will likely never play for Arsenal again; on his last appearance for the club, he won them 3 valuable points.
Thanks, Andrei. I'll always remember this:
Update: According to the official site, Arshavin left
The Russia captain returns to his home city and former club, managed by Luciano Spalletti, in order to maximise his opportunities for regular first-team football ahead of Euro 2012 in June.